Red carpet rolls out for the megastars at Mission Hills World Celebrity Pro-Am
Hainan Island in China was the showbiz capital of the world as celebrities from film, fashion and sport gathered at the prestigious Mission Hills Haikou resort for tournament’s official opening ceremony.
Adrien Brody, Ryan Reynolds, Andy Garcia, Minka Kelly, Jeong Woo-Seong, Michael Phelps, Ronaldo, Yao Ming, Stephen Hendry and Pat Cash together with a list of renowned HK stars like Donnie Yan, Leon Lai, Eric Tsang, Simon Yam, Michael Wong, Michael Miu, Natalis Chan, Sammo Hung, Charlene Choi, Charlie Yeung, Gigi Leung, Jennifer Tse, Chinese film director Feng Xiaogang, He Ping, Zhao Baogang, stars including Wang Zhiwen, Zhang Jiayi, Sun Nan, Wang Baoqiang, Zhang Guoli and Taiwan artist Michelle Chen stepped out onto the red carpet to celebrate the start of this unique event which brings the biggest names from the world of celebrity and golf together to raise money for charity.
The evening proceedings commenced with a cocktail reception before guests were invited to the official opening ceremony and fundraising dinner which took place at the hotel poolside under the impressive backdrop of the Mission Hill’s twin volcanoes.
Canadian actor and Hollywood superstar Ryan Reynolds said: “I’ve never been to any kind of mega resort like this before. This place is an incredible feat of engineering and imagination.
"The golfing experience today has been incredible, to be out there with these professionals who are so gifted and talented and to learn from them and seeing the landscape architecture which is as impressive as the interior architecture of Mission Hills – it’s been a real pleasure.”
Speaking at the official opening ceremony, Dr. Ken Chu, Chairman and CEO of Mission Hills Group said; “It brings me great pleasure to welcome all to Mission Hills Haikou as we mark the start of what I’m sure will be another exciting World Celebrity Pro Am.
"We are passionate about growing the game of golf and events like this help raise the profile of the sport in Asia as well as raising valuable funds for charity. Above all it’s about bringing people together, having fun and making the most of our five star facilities and warm hospitality.”
Four time PGA Tour winner and current world number nine Matt Kuchar spoke on behalf of the players, he said: “There are very few events in the world that bring together so much talent from so many different walks of life and that’s what makes an event like this so special.
"What we’re doing here is not just playing golf, but creating something new and special that we hope will take the game to a new level not just in China but across the region as well.”
Speaking on behalf of the celebrities, Oscar nominated Hollywood movie star Andy Garcia said: “I’m sure I speak for all my fellow actors and entertainers from America that we are honoured to be here. I feel we’re not as distant as we might once have been and that there is an extraordinary relationship building with the people of China and its culture.
"I can guarantee you that I will take back to America some very fond memories and know that you will have an ambassador to China in America on my behalf and on behalf of my fellow entertainers.
"You are very special people and I’m honoured to share this very special experience with all of you.”
The evening concluded with the Lan Kwai Fong Summer Love Party and prize giving ceremony where earlier in the day the team consisting of Kathleen Ekey, Song Ke, Zhao Xiao Shi and Wang You Xin claimed victory in the Celebrity / Pro-Am event.
The team was tied on a score of 61 with the team lead by the 2011 Open Championship winner Darren Clarke but eventually won on count back with 32 and 30 on the back nine respectively. Joining Darren Clarke in the runners up group was He Ping, Gary Lau, Andy Li and Simon Cooper.
For the professionals and celebrities it was a chance to familiarise themselves with the challenging terrain and unique volcanic features of the Blackstone Course before the start of the weekend’s 36 hole team and individual stableford tournament.
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