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All-star cast set for Gary Player Invitational

Charity golf event to tee off at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club on January 29

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The Gary Player Invitational charity golf series will return to Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Beach Golf Club for a third consecutive year on January 29.

This year’s event will see more than 72 golf champions, celebrities and business leaders join nine-time Major-winning Gary Player in raising funds for The Player Foundation, which has this year selected the Zayed Higher Organisation for Humanitarian Care and Special Needs as its charity of choice.

Among the golfers confirmed to play alongside Player are: 2018 European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Matt Fitzpatrick, Paul Dunne, Haydn Porteous, Julian Suri, Brandon Stone, Lucas Bjerregaard and Jordan Smith. Female golfers Olivia Cowan, Carly Booth, Emma Cabrera Bello and Henni Goya will also take part. Joining the pros will be UAE-based Indian amateur Rayhan Thomas, while additional star power will come from pop stars Brian McFadden and Keith Duffy.

“We are thrilled to be coming back to Abu Dhabi and Saadiyat Beach Golf Club to kick off 2018 with what will be a field of some of the super new golfing talent in the world,” said Player.

“As illustrated by our field of champions, including the UAE’s very own Rayhan Thomas, the game continues to evolve and strengthen in the UAE, which is truly fantastic to see. This, combined with raising money for those in need will make for a fantastic event for all.”

Abu Dhabi is the only Middle Eastern stop in the global series and the first event of the year. The series has helped The Player Foundation raise more than $64 million (Dh235 million) for charities worldwide and the invitational plays a key role in helping the foundation reach its goal of raising $100 million by 2025.

Player added: “Now in its third consecutive year and held at one of world’s most appealing courses, Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, the event in Abu Dhabi has firmly cemented its position on our global tour of golf and giving.

“Thanks to the generosity of the Abu Dhabi community and the support of organisations like the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, the Gary Player Invitational in Abu Dhabi brings us closer to achieving our goal of raising $100 million for children by 2025. While the event itself is both engaging and entertaining, it is made all the more worthwhile knowing that funds raised will stay in Abu Dhabi and support the Zayed Higher Organisation in all the great work that they do for the community.”

Members of the public are welcome to watch the stars in action and a gala dinner follows the event at the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi. For more information, visit or follow @GPInvitational on Twitter and Instagram- #GOLFandGIVING.