Nelson Mandela Invitational
The Nelson Mandela Invitational was a charity golf tournament conceptualised by Marc Player, CEO of Black Knight International, which took place annually in South Africa from 2000 until 2006. It was named in honor of former South African President Nelson Mandela, and hosted by South Africa's most successful professional golfer Gary Player. Player and Mandela appeared at the event almost every year to accept proceeds on behalf of the Children's Fund and the Player Foundation who were equal beneficiaries.
The field was made up of eight teams of four, each consisting of a senior professional, a regular tour professional, a celebrity and a businessman. The teams competed for the Alliance Medal, in which the best two scores of the four players counted on each hole. From 2000 a second better-ball competition for the professionals was staged, with the best score of the two counting on each hole.
Virtually all of South Africa's top players have taken part including Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, Rory Sabbatini, Trevor Immelman, as well as some well known players from overseas, such as Jack Nicklaus, Bob Charles, Darren Clarke, Angel Cabrera, Sam Torrance and Lee Westwood. Some of the professionals have been women, for example, Catrin Nilsmark, Sandra Gal, Sally Little and Ashleigh Simon. The celebrities have also included a mixture of South Africans and overseas names like Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Lineker, Nigel Mansell, Frankie Fredericks and Kapil Dev. The event raised over 25 million South African rand. There is prize money for the professionals, but it is modest by the standards of professional golf, and in general it has also been donated it to charities.
The event came to a close just prior to the 2007 edition, following the withdrawal of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund citing unsubstantiated concerns over Gary Player's involvement with the design of a golf course in Burma. It has since continued as the Gary Player Invitational . It was continued as a four-player team event mixing professionals with celebrity players.
Both Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu subsequently accepted Gary Player's position and statement on Burma and requested that the event continue, however the Children's Fund CEO refused to do so and thus forfeited on the name and future charitable funds raised through the tournament.
However, the event being owned by Black Knight International, was kept alive with the South African leg of the Gary Player Invitational series of charity events, which adopted the same format from 2008, with the 2007 winners being retrospectively classified in the Alliance and Betterball medals.
In 2009 it raised a record R5.2 million and in 2010 the event celebrates Fancourt Links courses 10th anniversary. All funds are distributed amongst several underprivileged children's charities including The Gary Player Foundation.
Pro-Am Team Tournament (2000–2013)
Gary Player Team Invitational: (4 player team)
|2013||Retief Goosen, Herschelle Gibbs, Anthony Leeming, Mike Dladla|
|2012||Tim Clark, Kenny Dalglish, Alex Maditsi, Doug Jackson|
|2011||Wessel Witthuhn, Shaun Pollock|
|2010||John Cook, Sergio García, Sinead Kenny, Dwight Yorke|
|2009||Thomas Aiken, Vincent Tshabalala, DJ Spoony, Abdullah Al Naboodah|
|2008||Retief Goosen, Costantino Rocca, Ines Sastre, Alan Pearson|
|2007||Luke Donald, Sally Little, Alex Maditsi, Marc Player|
Nelson Mandela Team Invitational: (4 player team)
|2006||Sandy Lyle, Omar Sandys, Ashleigh Simon, David Lyons|
|2005||Gary Player, Trevor Immelman, Ahmad Rashād, Alex Maditsi|
|2004||Lee Westwood, Simon Hobday, Inés Sastre, Doug Jackson|
|2003||Lee Westwood, Simon Hobday, Mark Boucher, Carl Ware|
|2002||Hugh Baiocchi, Deane Pappas, Gary Lineker, Dave King|
|2001||Simon Hobday, Martin Maritz, Nick Mallet, Doug Jackson|
|2000||Gary Player, Don Gammon, Julius Erving, Dave King|
Professional Tournament (2000–2011)
Gary Player Invitational
|2011||George Coetzee and Mark James|
|2010||John Cook and Sergio García|
|2009||Ángel Cabrera and Tony Johnstone|
|2008||Bobby Lincoln and Garth Mulroy|
|2007||Sally Little and Luke Donald|
Nelson Mandela Invitational
|2006||Bobby Lincoln and Retief Goosen|
|2005||Vincent Tshabalala and Tim Clark|
|2004||Vincent Tshabalala and Ernie Els|
|2003||Lee Westwood and Simon Hobday|
|2002||Hugh Baiocchi and Deane Pappas|
|2001||Simon Hobday and Martin Maritz|
|2000||Retief Goosen and Allan Henning|
- "Nelson Mandela Children's Fund withdraws name from Gary Player's golf tournament". Associated Press. International Herald Tribune. November 1, 2007. Retrieved 2008-10-31.
- Gary Player Invitational – South Africa (Past Results)