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Star-studded line-up for inaugural Saadiyat Beach Classic
January 23, 2010

Saadiyat Beach Golf Club will welcome some of the biggest names in golf and celebrities from the world of sport on January 27th-28th for the inaugural Saadiyat Beach Classic, an international charity golf tournament created by Master Developer Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) and hosted by golfing legend and course designer Gary Player.

Leading the field for the event, which marks the Club's official opening, will be 20 year old world number 10 Rory McIlroy, named by Player himself as the world’s most exciting young golfer.

Rory McIlroy Costantino Rocca
World no. 10 Rory McIlroy
The world’s most exciting young golfer
Costantino Rocca
Runner-up in the 1995 Open Ch'ship

McIlroy is joined by fellow Irishman Darren Clarke, Ryder Cup winning captain Sam Torrance OBE and Ryder Cup star Constantino Rocca. Also in attendance at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, the Arabian Gulf’s first and only beachfront course, will be rugby legends Gavin Hastings - the British and Irish Lions star who is widely tipped as one of his generation’s most outstanding rugby union players - and South African Springbok Victor Matfield, one of the finest lock forwards in the world, while swapping his bat for a bag of clubs is former England cricketer and cricket analyst Allan Lamb.

Top lady golfers including British Open Champion Catriona Matthew MBE, Melissa Reid and Henrietta Zuel, rising stars of the Ladies European Tour, and Maria Verchenova, the first Russian to become a full-time member of the Ladies European Tour, will also compete, and will be joined by BBC Sports News Presenter, Sarah Stirk.

“We want to create a unique golfing experience, which brings together a one-of-a-kind cache of top sports personalities from around the world, to mark the opening of the breathtaking Saadiyat Beach Golf Club. This event perfectly complements the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship by bringing a new dimension to the emirate’s overall golf offering, whilst raising funds to support charities globally,” said Ahmed Hussein, Chief Operating Officer of TDIC and Deputy Director General of Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA).

Saadiyat Beach Golf Club - The 16th hole 'Seaview'
The spectatular 16th hole - 'Seaview' - at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, the Arabian Gulf’s first and only beachfront course

Golf legend Player, nine-time a major champion between 1959 and 1978, was full of praise for the top-draw turnout to support the charity event.

“I am very pleased at the level of support this very exciting event has received both from my fellow professionals as well as the numerous celebrities that support our efforts and events in many parts of the world, all aimed at raising funds for charity”, said Player, who has a long track-record of hosting charity events.

At the heart of the two day spectacle will be an 18-hole tournament, where teams of four – including a top international golfer or celebrity – will be the first to compete on Saadiyat Beach Golf Club’s superb layout.

“It is a great boost to Abu Dhabi credentials as a world-class emerging golf destination of distinction to have attracted such a diverse compilation of the most revered names in sport. From rising stars to legends of their games, the field for the inaugural Saadiyat Beach Classic hosted by Gary Player will certainly be one to remember,” added Lee Tabler, Chief Executive Officer, TDIC.

Tickets for the Saadiyat Beach Classic are complimentary to the public and can be downloaded from Beginning at 9.30am, the tournament will boast unrivalled viewing of all the action throughout the day. Food and beverage will be available at the course and car parking at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club is free to ticket holders.

Five charities, local and international, have been identified as beneficiaries of the Saadiyat Beach Classic: the Zayed Higher Organization for Humanitarian Care and Special Needs; Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation; Red Crescent UAE; Future Centre for Special Needs and the Gary Player Foundation.

To raise funds for these charities, TDIC will host a black tie gala charity dinner, and will auction over 50 must have items donated by corporate sponsors and partners. Taking place at Emirates Palace on Saadiyat Beach Classic’s final day, the 350-person extravaganza boasts an impressive carabet and some of the biggest names from sport and entertainment.

Corporate partners of the Saadiyat Beach Classic include Emirates Palace and Emirates Airline as Platinum sponsors, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Al Habtoor Leighton, Al Jaber LEGT Engineering & Contracting, HILALCO, Jan De Nul Group, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Parsons and Saif Bin Darwish as Gold Sponsors, and Abu Dhabi Media Company, Motivate Publishing and Gulf News Broadcasting as media partners.

More news items about Saadiyat Beach:

Saadiyat Beach named 'Best Golf Course' at Property Awards (29/10/10)
Player to host 2nd Saadiyat Beach Classic in January 2011 (25/10/10)
Saadiyat Beach appoints new General Manager (23/6/10)
Saadiyat Beach brings fine dining to après-golf in Abu Dhabi (8/6/10)
Rory McIlroy triumphs at inaugural Saadiyat Beach Classic (28/1/10)
'McIlroy on course to be next World Number 1', says Player (28/1/10)
Saadiyat Beach to get Frank Gehry-designed clubhouse (27/1/10)
Star-studded line-up for inaugural Saadiyat Beach Classic (23/1/10)
First official pictures of Saadiyat Beach Golf Club (6/1/10)
Gary Played hosted charity event to mark Saadiyat Beach opening (23/11/09)
Saadiyat Beach offers Abu Dhabi juniors a Gary Player clinic (20/11/09)
Grassing of UAE's first beach-front golf course completed (29/7/09)
Gary Player shapes new 'ocean' course in Abu Dhabi (26/4/09)
For full details of Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, click here


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