PGA Tour pros headline Red Cross charity tourney

Professional golfers Nick Price and Mark McNulty are lending their celebrity to help raise money for the Cayman Islands Red Cross.

The two members of the PGA Champions Tour are slated to headline the annual golf tournament fundraiser scheduled for early next month at North Sound Club in Grand Cayman.

Open to the public, 20 teams of four players apiece will tee off in three separate shotgun starts on Friday, 2 September, and Saturday, 3 September, with proceeds going to fund local Red Cross programmes, including disaster preparation, relief management, HIV/AIDS education, first aid training and the thrift shop. Trophies and awards will be presented to the winners.

Mr. Price and Mr. McNulty – who both rose to prominence during the 1980s and 1990s by climbing the professional ranks before joining the seniors’ tour for players aged 50 and upward – are scheduled to play nine holes apiece Saturday morning and then again Saturday afternoon. They also will conduct golf clinics for both children and adults.

Teams of four may register for $600. Individuals may play for $150 apiece.

“A lot of people are still away right now, but teams are beginning to fill up,” said Peter Milburn, a former chairman of the Cayman Islands Red Cross and founder and lead organiser of the golf tournament, now in its 14th year. “There are still slots available, though. Usually there is a big rush at the end. That’s what we’re shooting for.”

Mr. Price, 54, was the top-rated golfer in the world in the mid-1990s and twice was named PGA Player of the Year. He won 18 lifetime PGA Tour events, including three major championships.

Mr. McNulty, 58, was a top player on the European Tour in the 1980s and 1990s. He was ranked among the world’s top-10 golfers for 83 weeks between 1987 and 1992.

Both men now play on the PGA Champions Tour, formerly known as the Seniors PGA Tour.

“To have two guys of that calibre coming down for the tournament this year is great for us,” Mr. Milburn said.

One of two major fundraisers on tap for the Cayman Islands Red Cross “September to Remember” collection drive commemorating the local chapter’s 50th anniversary, the golf tournament will be conducted for the first time this year over two days.

The following weekend, a gala dinner and dance is scheduled for 10 September at the Westin Casuarina Resort and Spa.

The Cayman Islands chapter of the Red Cross was founded in 1961.

Located off West Bay Road and opposite Seven Mile Beach, the North Sound Club boasts the Cayman Islands’ only 18-hole golf course. Adorned with native foliage including mahogany, coconut palms and silver thatch, the course is home to native birds and it is not uncommon to see sunbathing iguanas.

“The North Sound Club hosts 10 to 15 charity tournaments a year helping to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the community,” said Jason Deerwester, director of golf at North Sound Club. “The Red Cross was one of the first to host a tournament and they continue to make each year’s tournament better than the last.”

Mr. Milburn established the annual charity golf tournament in 1998 as a means to augment funding for the local chapter’s programmes. He said the tournament has grown roughly four-fold over the years, and typically raises in the neighbourhood of $40,000.

“It’s still the best way I know of to raise money,” Mr. Milburn said.

The first of three golf sessions is scheduled to begin at noon on Friday, 2 September. Additional sessions are slated for 8am and then 1pm on Saturday.

Among the prizes available are new vehicles to be won in the event a golfer gets a hole in one. There also are hole prizes for closest to the pin on all the par-3s, including a 17th century two reale silver Spanish American Cob minted in Potosi, Bolivia, and recovered in the wreckage of a Spanish galleon lying on the ocean floor off the coast of Spain.

A free children’s golf clinic is scheduled from 8am to 10am on Friday.

“The children who come to this clinic will be introduced to some simple tips and techniques that we use as pros to help us improve our game,” Mr. McNulty said. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to work with the local youth. Kids bring such enthusiasm to the sport, and they learn very quickly.”

Adults will be treated to their own clinic with the pros after tournament play ends on Saturday.

Tournament entry forms are available by contacting the CIRC at 916-3345 or by email at [email protected]

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