Spain’s Emma Cabrera-Bello and her team won the Gary Player Invitational, but ‘Golf and Giving’ was the biggest winner as nearly 100 professional golfers, celebrities, sporting greats and business leaders joined host and course designer, Gary Player, at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club.
Cabrera-Bello’s team tallied 12-under par for the round, which was one better than the team led by Chris Wood.
Three teams – led by Georgia Hall, David Howell and the UAE’s only professional golfer Ahmed Al Musharrekh – tied for the third place at 10-under par.
The tournament raised more than Dh183,000 for children from Zayed Higher Organization for Humanitarian Care & Special Needs.
Held in conjunction with the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, under the patronage of HH Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, the Abu Dhabi event was the first of six 2017 global series events, which together have helped The Player Foundation raise more than Dh227 million for charities worldwide.
Among the special guests for the second edition of the tournament in the UAE capital included golf pros Darren Clarke and Trevor Immelmann; cricket greats, Ricky Ponting and Brian Lara, as well as Boyzlife singers, Brian McFadden and Keith Duffy.
Joining Clarke, Immelman, Wood, Howell and Cabrera-Bello in representing professional golfers at the event were Beth Allen, winner of the inaugural Fatima Bint Mubarak Open at the same course last year, Joost Luiten, Caroline Martens, Jason Scrivener, Victoria Lovelady, Victor Dubuisson and Thomas Aiken.
Springbok great Victor Matfield, model, racing car driver and television personality, Jodie Kidd, and the UAE’s own, Emirati comedian, Ali Al Sayed also added some serious star-power to the event.
Host Gary Player said: “I simply love visiting Abu Dhabi and of course, Saadiyat Beach Golf Club is special.
“Once again, we had an amazing experience in the emirate and I congratulate the UAE’s leadership on building such a beautiful, safe and welcoming country. It was a pleasure to show so many of my fellow athletes and friends, what a magical place this truly is.”
Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said: “The Gary Player Invitational represents both the best of sport, as well as the best of Abu Dhabi.
“Bringing some of the world’s most iconic athletes together here in Abu Dhabi to raise funds for such a worthy cause highlights the emirate’s strong sporting credentials as it also remains true to the spirit of generosity that Abu Dhabi is known for.
“It is our hope that the fond memories created at The Gary Player Invitational remain with our visitors long after they return home, just as their generosity will remain with the children of the Zayed Higher Organization.”
Key supporters of the events include the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Etihad Airways, TDIC, the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi, SAP and Rolex. The 2017 event is the second event in what is a five-year agreement to host the event in Abu Dhabi.