Celebrity Participants Announced for BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs Golf Tournament
March 23, 2005
GREENVILLE, S.C. (March 22, 2005) - Kevin Costner and his wife Christine, Catherine Bell, Kurt Russell, former Vice President Dan Quayle, Kevin Sorbo, Cheech Marin, John O'Hurley and his wife Lisa Mesloh, Steve Spurrier, Lou Holtz, George Rogers, Brian Griese, Steve Bartkowski, Chris Chandler, Don Edwards, Ben Wright, Jennifer Mills, and Steve Nicklaus are the celebrities that are scheduled to compete in this year's BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs golf tournament.
Famed international golfer and Grand Slam winner Gary Player will also participate in this year's tournament.
Kevin Costner is an Oscar-winning actor/director/producer, and has starred in such hits as, The Untouchables, No Way Out, Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, Dances with Wolves, JFK, Thirteen Days; Open Range; and the 1996 golf movie Tin Cup. This will be Costner's fourth appearance in the tournament. Costner's wife Christine will also play in the tournament as a celebrity.
Catherine Bell is best known as Marine Corps attorney Lt. Colonel Sarah 'Mac' Mackenzie on the hit TV series, J.A.G. Bell, who enjoys sports, was voted the 38th sexiest girl in FHM's "2002 Sexiest Girls" edition. Bell was born in London, but moved to California with her Iranian mother at the age of two. She is fluent in the Persian language of Farsi. This will be her second appearance.
Kurt Russell began his acting career as a child with the Walt Disney Co, but once he outgrew child roles, he quit acting to pursue his love of baseball. He played second base with the minor league baseball teams of the California Angels and San Diego Padres until he hurt his arm. His injury returned him to acting, and in 1979 he made his mark on the big screen portraying the King of Rock n' Roll in Elvis. Since then Russell has gone on to star in such hits as: Silkwood (where he received a Golden Globe nomination); Escape from New York; Overboard; Back Draft; Captain Ron; Tombstone; Executive Decision; 3000 Miles to Graceland; Vanilla Sky, and Miracle. Russell has lived with actress Goldie Hawn since 1983. This will be his second appearance.
James Danforth Dan' Quayle, a republican representative and senator from Indiana, served as the 44th Vice President of The United States under George Herbert Walker Bush at the age of 41. Quayle is widely considered to have been one of the most active Vice Presidents in history. He made official visits to 47 countries, was chairman of the National Space Council, and served as President Bush's point man on Capitol Hill. Since leaving public office, Dan Quayle has authored three books: Standing Firm, A Vice-Presidential Memoir which was on the New York Times bestseller list for 15 weeks; The American Family: Discovering the Values that Make Us Strong; and Worth Fighting For. Currently, Quayle is Chairman of Cerberus Global Investments, LLC, President of Quayle & Associates, and serves on the board of directors of IAP, K-2 and Aozora Bank in Tokyo. He makes frequent public appearances and speeches, and writes a nationally syndicated weekly newspaper column.
Kevin Sorbo stars as Dylan Hunt in the science-fiction/action television show, "Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda." Sorbo quickly rose to international stardom in the title role of the hit series, "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys." In 1997, Sorbo made his feature film debut, starring in Universal Studio's "Kull the Conqueror," a prequel to "Conan the Barbarian." Sorbo has also appeared on several hit television shows such as "Hope and Faith," "According to Jim," "Dharma & Greg," "Just Shoot Me," "Cybill," "The Commish," and "Murder, She Wrote." A native of Mound, Minnesota, Sorbo enjoys golfing and snow skiing in his spare time. When not filming in Vancouver, BC, Sorbo and his wife reside in Nevada with their two sons, Braeden and Shane.
Best known as one half of the no-holds-barred duo of Cheech and Chong, Cheech Marin has starred in films such as Up in Smoke; From Dusk till Dawn, Desperado, The Great White Hype, and as Kevin Costner's caddie in the golf movie Tin Cup. Most recently, Marin appeared on the television drama Nash Bridges. He was also the voice of Banzai in The Lion King.
John O'Hurley, who currently hosts To Tell the Truth and Get Golf with the PGA Tour!, and has been featured in numerous television commercials, will forever be remembered for his sitcom parody of real-life catalog mogul J. Peterman on the hit TV series Seinfeld. This will be O'Hurley's fifth appearance at the BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs golf tournament. His wife, Lisa Mesloh, will also compete as a celebrity.
Current head football coach at The University of South Carolina, Steve Spurrier is one of the most successful coaches in college football history. As the 1966 winner of the Heisman Trophy, Spurrier was a first-round draft pick of the NFL's San Francisco 49ers. Following his 10-year professional career, he was named head coach of the USFL's Tampa Bay Bandits. When the USFL went under, he became the head coach of the Duke Blue Devils and led them to an ACC championship before becoming the head coach of his alma mater, the Florida Gators. While at Florida, Spurrier was named SEC Coach of the Year three times. His teams ranked in the top 15 nationally in each of his 12 seasons, including nine top-10 finishes and five top-five finishes. His teams appeared in a bowl game in each of his last 11 seasons, one of only five schools with such a record. Spurrier is the only major college coach to win as many as 120 games in his first 12 seasons at one school (122-27-1 at Florida from 1990-2001), and one of only two coaches in major college history to win 10 or more games in six consecutive seasons (1993-98). He holds the SEC record for career winning percentage in conference games (minimum of five years as head coach) with an 87-14 record (.861), and ranks third all-time in SEC in overall winning percentage (minimum five years as head coach) at .816.
One of college football's most successful coaches and motivational speakers, Lou Holtz is the only coach in NCAA history to lead six different teams to post-season bowl games and is the only coach to guide four different programs to a final top-20 ranking. Holtz won a national championship as head coach of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in 1988 and has been named National Coach of the Year.
As the 1980 Heisman trophy winning running back from the University of South Carolina, George Rogers rolled up 21 consecutive 100-yard games, including every game his senior year, when he led the nation in rushing with 1,781 yards and tied for third in TDs with 14. New Orleans Saints coach Bum Phillips, who made Rogers the top NFL '81 draft choice, noted the running back's double edge - Rogers could dodge a defender or run over him. Rogers was a member of the 1987 Washington Redskins Super Bowl Championship team. He retired in 1988. Rogers and professional partner Kyle Thompson, also an alumnus of South Carolina, won the 2002 Pro-Celebrity portion of the BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs.
Current Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Brian Griese will compete in this year's event. Like his father, Hall of Fame quarterback Bob Griese, Brian is a former Pro Bowl player. The younger Griese earned Pro Bowl honors in 2000 as a member of the Denver Broncos where he led the NFL in passing rating (102.9) and posted the second best touchdown-to-interception ratio (19/4) for a season in NFL history. The Grieses are the only father-son combination in league history to win NFL passing titles.
Steve Bartkowski was an All-America in both baseball and football at the University of California, before being made the No. 1 draft pick of the Atlanta Falcons in the 1975 NFL draft. Bartkowski went on to start 11 years with the Falcons. He was selected "Rookie of the Year" in 1975, led Atlanta to its first ever playoff game in 1978, was the NFC's Most Valuable Player in 1980, and earned All-Pro honors in 80 and 81.
Chris Chandler is a 17-year veteran of the NFL. Currently a member of the St. Louis Rams, Chandler is most remembered for his five-year stint with the Atlanta Falcons, where he was the first quarterback to lead the Falcons to a Super Bowl in 1998 and was a two-time All-Pro. An all-around athlete, Chandler was a Parade All-American in football, led his conference in points per game in basketball, batted .425 as a catcher on the baseball team and earned letters in golf and track. He is a scratch golfer.
Don Edwards spent 10 years as a goaltender in the NHL, mostly with the Buffalo Sabres. He won the prestigious Vezina Trophy as the NHL's top goaltender in 1980, and was twice named an All-Star. Edwards started in goal from 1976 to 1982 and still holds the team record for wins in a season (38). He ranks second to Dominik Hasek in career victories (156), minutes played (17,969), games played (307) and shutouts (14). Edwards, who also played for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Calgary Flames, is a former assistant coach for the Carolina Hurricanes and Los Angeles Kings. He was inducted into the Buffalo Sabres' Hall of Fame in 2000.
Designer of the Cliffs Valley course, Ben Wright has been covering the golfing world for 50 years, most notably with CBS Sports. Wright has attended the world's major golf events since 1954. He announced The Masters tournament at Augusta National Golf Club for more than 20 years in succession, and also broadcast the Ryder Cup matches in 1989, 91, 93, and 95. His articulate prose and ability to tell a tale are unrivaled, as are his wit and intellect.
Born and raised in Greenville, Jennifer Mills is now an anchor on The Golf Channel's Golf Central. A graduate of Wake Forest University, Mills has more than 15 years in broadcast journalism, beginning as a sports photographer at an NBC affiliate in Winston-Salem, N.C. A mother of two, Mills now lives in Orlando, Fla.
Steve Nicklaus, son of legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus, will defend his celebrity championship in the 2005 tournament. Nicklaus, who designs golf courses, is Vice President in charge of Business Development for the Nicklaus Companies.
The 2005 tournament will be played April 28-May 1, 2005 at Cliffs Valley, The Cliffs at Keowee Vineyards and The Cliffs at Walnut Cove. All four rounds will be televised live by The Golf Channel.
The BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs is the only tournament on the Nationwide PGA Tour where amateurs and celebrities are grouped with Nationwide PGA Tour professionals in a three-day better-ball competition. Amateurs, celebrities and pros will rotate between each of the three courses on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with the 14 lowest scoring pro-amateur/pro-celebrity teams advancing to play Sunday's final round at Cliffs Valley. Celebrities will play once at each course on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Cliffs Valley will serve as the host course. The professional winner of the overall 72-hole event will take home $112,500 from the total purse of $625,000, which is one of the largest purses on the Nationwide Tour. Amateurs and celebrities will compete for individual prizes and cash donations to the charity of their choice out of the beneficiaries selected by South Carolina Charities, Inc.
Last spring's events raised a record $763,646 for 31 Upstate and Western North Carolina charities. The first four tournaments have raised more than $2.4 million for area charities.
General Admission tickets for the 2005 BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs can be purchased for $25 through one of the 28 selected charities or by calling (864) 297-1660. Children 14 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Corporate sponsorships and ticket packages that include VIP and Clubhouse tickets can also be purchased by calling (864) 297-1660.
For more information on the BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs golf tournament or sponsorship opportunities call (864) 297-1660 or visit the tournament's website at www.bmwcharitygolf.com.
Owned and operated by the PGA TOUR, the Nationwide Tour is in its 16th season in 2005. Nationwide, one of the world's largest insurance and financial services providers, is in its third year as the umbrella sponsor of the Tour. The 2005 season will consist of 31 events played in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Panama and 22 U.S. states. Purses will top $16 million this year. The Top 20 money winners on the season will automatically earn playing privileges on the 2006 PGA TOUR. The PGA TOUR is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, and its website is www.pgatour.com.