22 November 2010
Business leaders, celebrities and professional golfers turned out at the Gary Player Invitational at Fancourt over the weekend to raise money for underprivileged children. When the last putt had been sunk, R5-million had been raised.
Tournament host Gary Player expressed his thanks for the continued support of his long-standing tournament which also has stops in the USA, Europe and China.
“Thank you to everybody who has helped to make a change in so many young peoples’ lives. To raise R5 million in these tough economic times is a fantastic achievement,” he said.
For Irish businesswoman Sinead Kenny the event presented her with the most memorable moment of her golfing career when she finally claimed victory in the 11th Gary Player Invitational on Sunday.
A 15-handicapper and a regular competitor in the charity tournament, she finished second last year and vowed she would return to win it. And on an overcast afternoon on The Links, Kenny combined with former football star Dwight Yorke and professionals Sergio Garcia and John Cook to win the fourball alliance competition by three strokes on 27-under-par.
“I think the difference this year was that I just had so much fun out there,” she said afterwards. “Being with these ultimate professionals makes all the difference to your own game.”
Kenny was also delighted to hear that the tournament raised in excess of R5 million for charity through the participating business leaders, the live and silent auctions, and various donations. “As always it’s been such an amazing experience to be part of this. It’s a wonderful privilege to contribute to Gary’s charities,” she said.
As her amateur partner, Yorke was equally thrilled to claim a victory on his debut in this event.
“I’m absolutely over the moon. These are things you dream of.
“I’ve played Premiership football and golf is now the next step in my career and the next challenge for me to master. So to have the opportunity to play with someone like Sergio Garcia and John Cook was fantastic.”
Kenny and Yorke had to fight off a strong charge from the team of Alex Maditsi, the Country Manager of Coca-Cola East and Central Africa, and his amateur partner DJ Thomas Msengama, who finished in second place on 24-under-par.
“It was very exciting,” said Yorke. “My game wasn’t that great off the tee. But you can watch and learn so much from these pros. So, I”ll go away knowing what I need to work on if I want to get close to these guys.”
In the professional betterball competition, Garcia and Cook triumphed on a score of 14-under-par, winning by a single stroke over the team of Bertus Smit and Darren Fichardt.
“John really kept us together out there. When I was struggling he made all the necessary birdies,” said Garcia.
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