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Deep lineup of star power scheduled at BMW Charity Pro-Am

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Tuesday, April 9, 2013

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Tom Merritt, founder and President of Oobe, presents Darrin McDonald, BMW Charity Pro-Am executive director with a $75,000 check to add to the tournament's fundraising efforts.

Julie McCombs

Tom Merritt, founder and President of Oobe, presents Darrin McDonald, BMW Charity Pro-Am executive director with a $75,000 check to add to the tournament's fundraising efforts.



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Johan Schwartz will attempt to beat the Guinness Book of World Record for the world’s longest drift on Saturday, May 11 while driving a 2013 BMW M5 at the Performance Center in Greer.

Julie McCombs

Johan Schwartz will attempt to beat the Guinness Book of World Record for the world’s longest drift on Saturday, May 11 while driving a 2013 BMW M5 at the Performance Center in Greer.



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Vehicles lined up at the BMW Performance Center took guests for a spin.

Vehicles lined up at the BMW Performance Center took guests for a spin.

Darrin McDonald said this year's group of BMW Charity Pro-Am celebrities is "probably as deep as we've ever had as far as star power."

McDonald, executive director of the Pro-Am, announced 24 celebrities committed to the BMW Charity Pro-Am, May 16-19 during the tournament's annual media day at the BMW Performance Center.

"We have eight returning celebrities who have been here before but weren't here last year. Then we have 15 coming back from last year including Patrick Warburton and Oliver Hudson," McDonald said.

Wayne Gretzky, arguably the greatest NHL player ever, returns with his wife Janet-Jones Gretzky, actors Kurt Russell, Craig T. Nelson and George Lopez. 

McDonald spelled out the dynamic of the tournament with Thornblade Club, Greenville Country Club’s Chanticleer course and The Reserve at Lake Keowee, a Jack Nicklaus signature course, the three-course rotation. It’s the first BMW Pro-Am competition held at The Reserve.

The field will have 168 pros and amateurs competing for a $650,000 purse with the winner earning $117,000. The field will rotate one round at each course with the field cut to the low 60 pros and ties and low 16 pro-am teams for the final round at Thornblade.

Johan Schwartz will attempt to beat the Guinness Book of World Record for the world’s longest drift on Saturday, May 11 while driving a 2013 BMW M5 at the Performance Center in Greer. The current record is 6.95 miles set on Feb. 25 in Abu Dhabi.

Schwartz will attempt to drift – a driving technique where the driver intentionally oversteers, causing a loss of traction in the rear wheels – 40 miles, 251 laps, around the Performance Center’s skid pad. The public is invited to attend.

Among other events:

• 7 spots remain for the 168 amateurs with 168 pros on Monday, May 13.

• Tom Merritt, founder and President of Oobe, presented a $70,000 check to kickoff the charity’s fundraising.

• An International Challenge Cup will benefit Meals on Wheels.

• Volunteers are still needed. A $40 donation for the uniform fee can be directed to the volunteer’s Pro-Am designated charity.

• Tickets are available online or call 864-297-1660. Online sales close May 10. Complimentary daily grounds admission is granted for all active duty, retired, Reserve military and veterans along with their dependents. All youth 14 and under accompanied by an adult ticket holder admitted free.

• Birdies for Beer: Each time a birdie is made on Thornblade Club’s par 3 9th hole, special beverage pricing will be in effect for 10 minutes.

• Party on the Plaza: Friday, May 17, 7-10 p.m. at the Peace Center is free to the public with The Celebrity Concert being streamed live on a jumbotron.

• Pink on the Links: Patrons are asked to wear pink on Saturday May 18 at all tournament courses to support breast cancer awareness.

• First Tee: Saturday, May 18 at Thornblade Club practice range. Youth invited free. Tour pros will offer tips while hitting shots. Event begins at end of third round.

The BMW Charity Pro-Am is presented by SYNNEX Corporation.

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