Cheadle puts star power behind NZ PGA

Monday, 20 February 2012
Don Cheadle
Don Cheadle

Hollywood actor and producer Don Cheadle has confirmed he will play in the NZ PGA Pro-Am Championship at The Hills in Queenstown between March the 29th and April the 1st.

Cheadle is best known for his performance as Paul Rusesabagina in the film Hotel Rwanda, which earned him a Best Actor nomination at the Academy Awards in 2005.

He has also appeared in a number of other notable films including Colors, Boogie Nights, Crash, and Oceans Eleven as well as the acclaimed television series ER and Picket Fences.

But it’s his passion for golf which has drawn him to New Zealand as Tournament Director Michael Glading explains.

“Don is an avid, and a very good golfer. He plays off a 10 handicap and is a regular player in the major celebrity Pro-Am tournaments, including the recent AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. He just loves to travel and discover new courses.”

“Don found out about the event from his coach, US based Kiwi pro, Paul Parlane who is based at the Mountain Gate Country Club in Los Angeles where Don plays. Initially Paul had been working with Phil Tataurangi to line up some US based pros but he spoke to Don about the tournament and Don was keen to come and play.”

Cheadle will also be joined by a number of other invited amateurs from New Zealand and across the Tasman from the sporting, media, and business communities including; British Open winner Sir Bob Charles, World Amateur No.1 Lydia Ko, ex-All Blacks Justin Marshall, Andy Hayden and Jeff Wilson, Wallabies legend Nick Farr-Jones, Black Caps opener Mark Richardson, netballer Julie Coney, media personality Murray Deaker, ex All Black Coach (and Chair of the Organising Committee) John Hart and business personality Sir Michael Hill.

Glading is understandably excited by the quality of the field and the prospects for the future of the tournament.

“It’s our long term goal to build the NZ PGA Pro-Am Championship into one of the best tournaments of its type in the World, and I believe that with our stunning courses and location we’ve got every chance of succeeding. Don’s presence this year is proof that Queenstown has real pulling power as a golfing destination and I’m sure that after Don heads home and tells his golfing buddies about the tournament that we’ll have more Hollywood stars walking the fairways of The Hills in 2013.”

“With such a great line up of players and two great charities to support in Cure Kids and First Tee I’m sure the public will get right behind the tournament too.”