Sun City - In a year of great memories, Gary Player added another when he won the Gary Player Invitational presented by Coca-Cola for a record second consecutive time at the Lost City Golf Club on Sunday.
Player led his team of Irish singer Ronan Keating and businessmen Hans-Walter Peters and Sello Moloko to a commanding 11-stroke victory on 36-under par. And the Grand Slam champion also won the individual competition by six shots.
The team of Ladies European Tour player Danielle Montgomery, cricketer Mark Boucher and businessmen JP Cuvelier and Hal Dyball took second place on 25-under par.
The victory wrapped up what has been a year of memorable moments for the Black Knight, who in 2015 has celebrated the 50th anniversary of his career Grand Slam, his 80th birthday, and being named as the captain of South Africa’s inaugural golf team for the Olympic Games in Rio next year.
And it ended a remarkable week of “Golf and Giving”, with Africa’s premier charity golf tournament raising a record R6.2 million for charities supporting underprivileged children in South Africa.
“We had a wonderful team out there. I gave Ronan a few lessons during the round and changed his swing significantly, and I don’t think I’ve seen anybody improve their golf so much in five holes. Hans Walter played the best game of golf I’ve seen him play, and Sello is such a strong man and he was knocking them on the green on the par fives. So we combined really well,” said Player.
Keating was overjoyed to have won his first Gary Player Invitational trophy.
“Unbelievable. A first-time victory for me, but even more special is that I got to play with Gary Player for two days. I had the time of my life. It’s a bonus to win. I played well and Gary helped me so much. I can’t wait to get back onto the golf course and see if it’s for real.
“And The Player Foundation has done so well with the amount of money raised. I’m very proud to be a part of it and I hope I can be back here next year.”
Moloko also described the moment as the highlight of his golf career.
“It was very special to play with Gary Player, and then to win with him as well. He’s phenomenal. At 80 he still hits the ball so far and is still so active, and doing so well for the less fortunate by using his brand to raise the kind of money that he does.”
It was a fitting end to the 16th Gary Player Invitational South Africa, and which brings down the curtain on the global series in 2015 which has now raised more than R800 million across the world.
“The support we have received from the Gary Player Invitational series truly has made a difference in the world,” said Marc Player, GPI series founder and CEO of Black Knight International. “From the professional golfers, businessmen and celebrities to our sponsors, they make it all possible to change people’s lives.”
FINAL SCORES IN THE GARY PLAYER INVITATIONAL:
-36 - Gary Player, Ronan Keating, Sello Moloko, Dr Hans Walter-Peters
-25 - Danielle Montgomery, Mark Boucher, JP Cuvelier, Hal Dyball
-22 - Carly Booth, Roland Schoeman, Gideon du Plessis, Robby Wray
-22 - Richard Sterne, Thomas Msengana, Stephanie Zinser, Steve Elford
-21 - Thomas Levet, Brian McFadden, Daniel Gavagnin, Per Classon
-20 - Emma Cabrera-Bello, Graeme Smith, Chuck Colton, Dave Woolam
-13 - Jean van de Velde, Johnathan Joseph, Reon Barnard, Stuart McKenzie
-9 - Wayne Player, Aaron Mokoena, Robert Lilja, Karl Svensson
For more information on the Gary Player Invitational, visit www.garyplayerinvitational.com and follow @GPInvitational on Twitter - #GOLFandGIVING
From left to right: Ronan Keating, Gary Player, Hans
Walter-Peters and Sello Moloko were crowned the 2015 Gary Player
Invitational presented by Coca-Cola champions at the Lost City Golf Club
on Sunday (Credit: BKI)