Nick Gordon
2 minute read
16 Nov 2013
10:30 am

Player’s happy to change lives

Nick Gordon

A professional golfer turned philanthropist. That's the job description that Gary Player holds these days.

FILE PICTURE: Gary Player. Picture: Gallo Images

This weekend one of South Africa’s greatest sporting sons will continue the work he does when he hosts the Gary Player Invitational on the Lost City Golf Course with the aim of raising funds for the various charities supported by this event.

“It makes you feel good that a golf event can change the lives of people. Golf is a great catalyst. Not only am I doing this but guys like Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus are doing it too,” Player said ahead the the two-day event that tees off today.

“But you’ve got to have the support of people and to have all this involvement is a compliment. Golf changes the lives of millions of people” he added.

“What’s so exciting for me is that all these people are coming from all around the world to participate in this event,” said the winner of nine Majors yesterday.

A host of big names make up the cast for the weekend with Retief Goosen, Thomas Levet, Tony Johnstone joining Cheyenne Woods, the niece of Tiger and professional on the Ladies European Tour, and Niclas Fasth the big name golfers on show.

The rest of the field meanwhile comprises business men and women and the likes of Hollywood actors Anthony Anderson, Carmine Giovanizzo, Brian McFadden of Westlife fame, and former Protea batsman Herschelle Gibbs.

“This is one of my favourite events of the year and to be able to support one of Gary’s events is always a great thing,” Johnstone, a 17-time winner on the Sunshine Tour, said yesterday.

“He’s an inspiration to us all and it would be very easy for a man in his position to say he’s ready for retirement but he uses who he is to help people.”

The 36-hole event will see six teams battle it out over the weekend with the format of four ball alliance with two scores to count but at the end of the day charity will continue to be the winner as long as events like this continue to prosper.