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BMW Charity Pro-Am golf tournament announces celebrities list

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, former Major League Baseball players Chipper Jones and Paul O’Neill, and actor Carmine Giovinazzo are among the celebrities who will visit Greenville to play in the 2017 BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by SYNNEX Corporation May 18-21, tournament officials announced Thursday.

The Furman Golf Club is among the three courses that will serve as hosts for the popular Tour event.  All the celebrity amateurs will play at the Furman course either Thursday, Friday or Saturday. The player pairings and tee times will be announced the week of the tournament.

The Thornblade Club and The Preserve at Verdae are the other host golf courses for the tournament where amateurs and celebrities are grouped with Tour professionals in a four-day competition.  The tournament’s final round on Sunday will take place at Thornblade.

This year’s tournament will also be one of only four Tour tournaments to test the use of distance measuring devices during competition, bringing the local tournament into the fold of a potentially historic decision by the PGA TOUR.

O’Neill, an All-Star outfielder who won five World Series Championships with the Cincinnati Reds and New York Yankees, is familiar with the Furman campus. Two of his three children graduated from the university—Andrew ’12 and Aaron ‘15—and the third, Alexandra ’18, is a current student.

Here is the complete list of celebrities set to play at the BMW Charity Pro-Am:

  • Jose Alvarez (former Major League Baseball player)
  • Steve Azar (country music artist)
  • Chris Barron (The Spin Doctors)
  • Josh Beckett (former Major League Baseball player)
  • Tim Brando (FOX Sports broadcaster)
  • Mark Bryan (Hootie and The Blowfish)
  • Andy Buckley (actor, Odd Mom Out)
  • Larry the Cable Guy (comedian)
  • Colt Ford (country music artist)
  • Carmine Giovinazzo (actor, Criminal Minds/CSI:NY)
  • Scott Henry (comedian)
  • Dan Jansen (Olympian)
  • Chipper Jones (former Major League Baseball player)
  • Richard Karn (actor, Home Improvement)
  • John O’Hurley (actor, Seinfeld)
  • Lisa O’Hurley (fashion designer)
  • Paul O’Neill (former Major League Baseball player)
  • Russ Ortiz (former Major League Baseball player)
  • Preston Pohl (singer, The Voice)
  • Alfonso Ribeiro (host, America’s Funniest Home Videos)
  • Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers)
  • Gary Valentine (actor, Kevin Can Wait)
  • Tim Wakefield (former Major League Baseball player)
  • Justin Wheelon (Emmy Award-winning producer)

“Tournament week is going to once again be packed with sport and entertainment,” said Bob Nitto, president, BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by SYNNEX Corporation. “The economic impact the event has on the Upstate is substantial, all the while benefitting some very worthwhile charitable organizations. It’s a one-of-a-kind combination for our community, and we are grateful for the enthusiastic support the tournament and related events receive.”

Select musical talent participating in the tournament will entertain the masses at a FREE Celebrity Concert on Main after play concludes on Thursday, May 18. The jam session will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. on Main Street in downtown Greenville.

A private ticketed concert ($250) will take place on Friday, May 19. The Concert Party is an exclusive evening which will include musical entertainment, menu by Larkin’s on the River and beverages. Tickets may be purchased through South Carolina Charities Director of Sales, Linda Johnson (864.517.2383;

Other tournament week events include the inaugural Executive Women’s Day on Wednesday, May 17 from 9:30 to 3 p.m. at Furman University’s Trone Student Center. The event will include a panel discussion for women by women. Keynote speaker for the event will be Molly Barker, founder of Girls on the Run. Tickets for that event are also available through Linda Johnson.

New charities benefiting from the 2017 tournament include: The Blade Jr. Golf Classic, Blue Ridge Council – Boy Scouts of America, Center for Developmental Services and The Furman Advantage. Returning charities include: Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Habitat for Humanity of Greenville, Harvest Hope Food Bank, Mobile Meals of Spartanburg, NCCAA, Project Hope Foundation, Ronald McDonald House, Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville, SYNNEX Share the Magic, and Upstate Warrior Solution.

For volunteer opportunities, contact Macy Covington at


The BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by SYNNEX Corporation is the only tournament on the Tour where amateurs and celebrities are grouped with Tour professionals in a four-day better-ball competition over three courses. Amateurs, celebrities and pros rotate between three courses on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with the 10 lowest scoring pro-amateur teams, six lowest scoring pro-celebrity teams and the lowest 65 pros (and ties) advancing to play Sunday’s final round at Thornblade Club.


Founded (1990), owned and operated by the PGA TOUR, the Tour continues to identify those players who are ready to compete and win on golf’s biggest stage. became the Tour’s umbrella sponsor on June 27, 2012, with a 10-year agreement in place through 2021. In 2013, the Tour became The Path to the PGA TOUR with all 50 available PGA TOUR cards coming through the Tour and the season culminating at the four-event Tour Finals. This season marks the 28th year of competition on the Tour. Three out of four PGA TOUR members are Tour alumni. Tour alumni have won more than 450 PGA TOUR titles, including 22 majors and six PLAYERS Championships. The PGA TOUR, through the efforts of its Tours and their tournaments,  -more- sponsors, players and volunteers, has generated over $2 billion in charitable giving. To learn more about the PGA TOUR, the Tour and to follow the season-long quest for a PGA TOUR card, visit PGATOUR.COM, or follow the Tour on social media via Twitter

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Last updated April 20, 2017
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Clinton Colmenares
News & Media Relations Director