Despite clashing with the last day of The Open, the Berenburg Gary Player Invitational was a huge success raising over $225,000 for the DePaulUK charity
The Open over-running by a day generated logistics challenges for many people, including Gary Player and the team organising his annual Berenburg Gary Player Invitational at Wentworth on the Monday The Open eventually finished.
A host of the game’s biggest stars had signed up for the event in aid of the DepaulUK charity, which works hard to eradicate youth homelessness, but a number ended up on St Andrews duty still, including all three play-off protagonists.
Despite this, a wander up and down the Wentworth range ahead of the event was still a veritable identity parade of professional golf, with some of the world’s best players past and present taking part.
Among them were Ian Poulter, Colin Montgomerie, Charley Hull and Major champions Tom Watson, Ian Woosnam, Tom Lehman, Fred Couples, Sandy Lyle and Mark Calcavecchia.
Several other tour pros had no hesitation in accepting late invitations as events at St Andrews unfolded, to ensure a full field in a very special year for the event, which also sees Gary Player celebrate his 80th birthday and marks the 50th anniversary of him achieving the career Grand Slam.
For sponsors, Berenburg, there is perhaps even more to celebrate as 2015 marks 425 years of banking history for the firm.
The winners of this first leg of the global invitational series were the team comprising professionals Ian Woosnam and Georgia Hall, accompanied by businessmen James Grigg and Robert Baur.
Afterwards a gala auction took place, with Gary Player, The Player Foundation and presenting sponsor Berenberg later being able to donate a significant contribution during the Gala Dinner. In the end, more than $225,000 was raised for the DePaulUK charity.
When it was all over, Player summed it up this way: “I am really thrilled about what has happened here today at the Berenburg Gary Play Invitational. The support we have received from all our participants, as well as some of the world’s leading golfers, celebrities and businessmen is out of this world despite the dramatic challenges from this year’s Open Championship.
“I feel very humbled by everyone’s efforts in such a special year for the event and I am delighted about the money raised. Following my visit to DePaulUK’s London-based Willesden Hostel, a long-stay hostel providing for young homeless people, I can tell you first-hand what a difference it makes. Thank you to all.”
Dr. Hans-Walter Peters, managing partner at Berenberg, added, “Every year is special when it comes down to the Berenberg Gary Player Invitational, as we raise money for those most in need. Yet it has to be said that this year really has been extra special.
“It feels like the right time to all stand back for a moment and truly appreciate the incredible contribution Gary Player makes to golf and charity as he helps others around the globe. We stand incredibly proud today.”
The Berenberg Gary Player Invitational is part of the world-leading charity golf event series, which has raised more than $60 million for charities worldwide. Next stop is the Berenberg Gary Player Invitational at GlenArbor in New York in October, followed by Shanghai and then the concluding event at Sun City in South Africa from November 12-15.
For more information on the Gary Player Invitational, visit www.garyplayerinvitational.com and follow @GPInvitational on Twitter. #GOLFandGIVING / #GPI2015