Red Carpet Glamour Marks The Opening Of Mission Hills World Celebrity Pro-Am

Oct 19, 2012, 18:11 ET from Mission Hills Group

HAINAN, China, Oct. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A star studded evening of glitz and glamour marked the start of the hotly anticipated 2012 World Celebrity Pro-Am at Mission Hills Haikou today.

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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. 

Press Conference Sound Bites - 19.10.12 at 1425hrs
English Transcript

Master of Ceremonies – MC
Dr Ken Chu, CEO & Chairman of Mission Hills Group – KC
Tenniel Chu, Vice chairman of Mission Hills Group – TC
Ryan Reynolds – RR

RR – I'm here to be a part of this great golf event, to meet these incredible athletes and entertainers that are involved in this impressive enterprise. You guys [to Ken and Tenniel] have built a facility unlike anything I've ever seen in my life so just to be here and be a part of it is really incredible for me.

[On film roles] I've always tried to mix it up and do something different from my last film but it doesn't always work out like that, I wish it did. This year I have two films I'm going to star in, one is in February and the next one is in May both are dramatic pieces and I'm really looking forward to that.

[On impressions of China] Well I wish I'd got to see more of it. I've never been to China before other than the movie that we intend to shoot next September in Beijing so I would love to see as much of the city as possible. I really have not seen much of it, so far I've just been here [Mission Hills] so far it's paradise.

[On Mission Hills] This place is an incredible feat of engineering and imagination. I've never been to any kind of mega resort like this before. I've been to Las Vegas but this is a far more elegant version of that. It's one of those places where anything you need or anything you wish for it's right there.

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.

[On working with Chinese movie stars/directors] We're not exposed to Chinese movie stars in the same way that you guys might be with ours but that should change. You guys have such an active film industry; it's probably more prolific than anything Hollywood can muster up. If we shoot the movie in Beijing I'll get to work with a number of them.

[On golf movies] One of my favourite movies ever made was Caddy Shack. That's definitely the funniest golf movie I've ever seen and I would never want to try and top that.

I would say my golf game is in its infancy at the moment but I'm getting better. I had some moments of either brilliance or fluke today on the course which was very exciting. I'm a novice, I'm just learning but I decided the best place to learn was probably the most prolific golf course in the world here.

Press Conference Sound Bites - 19.10.12 at 1450hrs
English Transcript

Master of Ceremonies – MC
Dr Ken Chu, CEO & Chairman of Mission Hills Group – KC
Tenniel Chu, Vice chairman of Mission Hills Group – TC
Yao Ming, former NBA basketball player – YM
Feng Xiaogang, Chinese award winning director and scriptwriter – FX 
Adrien Brody, Oscar winning Hollywood actor – AD
Zhao Baogang, UNICEF Chairperson Chan Ching – ZB
Charlie Yeung, UNICEF Representative – CY

AD – I'm here to grow and this is a kind of baptism by fire for me. Here we are on one of the most beautiful golf courses with some of the best golfers in the world and this is my second time on a golf course. But it's exciting and I'm thrilled to be reunited with my very good friend Mr Feng. We did a film together earlier this year called "1942" which will come out soon and I'm very grateful that Mission Hills invited me and there's a charitable aspect to this as well. I'm honoured I've been invited even though I'm a novice and it's very exciting to have an opportunity to learn.

[On Mission Hills] Well, I'm a novice here but I'm going to start with a golfing metaphor and that's connection. The most difficult thing in golf is connecting and if we're talking about the charity aspect it's connection that we all must have. The ease of connecting with the ball and connecting with each other as human beings.


Press Conference Sound Bites - 19.10.12 at 1540hrs
English Transcript

Master of Ceremonies – MC
Dr Ken Chu, CEO & Chairman of Mission Hills Group – KC
Tenniel Chu, Vice chairman of Mission Hills Group – TC
Minka Kelly, Hollywood actress and model – MK
Stephen Hendry, former world number one Snooker player – SH
Pat Cash, former Wimbledon tennis champion – PC
Darren Clark, 2011 Open Championship winner – DC
Wang Zhiwen, renowned Chinese actor – WZ
Zhang Jia Yi, renowned Chinese movie and TV actor – ZJ
Michael Wong, Hong Kong movie star – MW

SH – The first time I visited Mission Hills in Shenzhen where we played a ranking tournament for snooker there and we all had a great time. We would play snooker during the day and the evening and go out and play golf at midnight under the floodlit courses.

Then this year in March I was fortunate to come here to Haikou with Mark Williams, we had a game of golf here and I was very lucky that I was invited by Ken and Tenniel to come to this event and I am very honoured to be here.

I don't think it's possible to play two sports really well so that's why I decided to retire from snooker to concentrate on my golf.

MK – Mission Hills is absolutely gorgeous, it's one of the most beautiful courses I've ever seen and I've seen a few. I've had a great experience, everyone here is so nice and welcoming and I've had a really good day today and I'm excited to do it again tomorrow.

DC – [on Ryder Cup captaincy] I would love to be but it's not my choice, that goes to the tournament committee and they decide in January who the next captain is going to be. There are a few contenders but I've played in it quite a few times and hopefully they might look favourably on me and give me the honour of being captain at some stage.

[On importance of Pro-Ams] Pro-Ams are very special for professional golfers, we get the chance to play with amateurs and celebs and guys from different sports and fields and different industries. It's a real privilege for us to be able to maybe try and pass on a little bit of our knowledge and try help people enjoy the game as much as we tend to. We don't always enjoy that much but when things go well we do.

This week especially is a wonderful event, it's my first time here and to be a part of it is very special. It's a wonderful golf course and it's got a great field and it's a lot of fun. And I can do fun pretty well so this is good. 

PC – [On China's rise in sport] China has a great superstar in Na Li, she won the French Open and I think she's inspiring tennis in China and this is important for the sport. In the tennis world we are seeing more and more Chinese tennis academies and Chinese players which is very exciting for me as a coach and a commentator.

I think it's fair to say, this golf course is too good for me. It's beautiful but my golfing doesn't do it justice.

MW – I've got such good friends in Ken and Tenniel, they're a great host to us in the industry in Hong Kong and around the world. We've been friends for a while and it's all really special to come and be a part of a tournament at Mission Hills.

For celebrity and amateur golfers it's a great pleasure to be on stage with Pat, Steve and Darren and have a chance to play with a lot of professional golfers. I get excited because I get to meet Yao Ming for the first time. I brought my son here and for him to get to meet a lot of the celebrities and superstars in golf is a really great pleasure and honour.

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About Mission Hills Group
Mission Hills Group (, owner and operator of Mission Hills in the heart of the Pearl River Delta and the tropical island of Hainan, is the pioneer in China's fledgling hospitality, sports and leisure industry.

Founded in 1992, Mission Hills is recognized as the leading golf brand in the world and synonymous with high-end, luxurious and exquisitely-designed residences. Mission Hills has been the major driving force behind the sports and leisure industry in China. Its three world-class integrated leisure and wellness resort destinations have hosted more than 100 international tournaments. Mission Hills has also been accredited the "World's Largest Golf Club" by the Guinness World Records.

Mission Hills' properties sprawl over 40 They include 22 championship courses designed by renowned players and architects from five continents, five-star resorts, award-winning spas and volcanic mineral springs, an international convention center, golf academies and Asia's largest tennis facility. Mission Hills is also the official training headquarters of China's Tennis and Golf Associations.

The Group's "golf and more" leisure philosophy has catalyzed its tourism-related business expansion. Mission Hills Centreville and Mission Hills * Lan Kwai Fong * Haikou are family-friendly metropolitan leisure complexes and low-carbon town centers. Hubs for business, leisure, wellness and entertainment, their highlights include 1,000-plus international anchor brands featuring the latest fashion labels, finest jewelry and watches; trendiest restaurants, cafes and bars; state-of-the-art multiplex cinemas; ice skating rinks; bowling alleys; world-renowned auto showrooms; and many other exciting offerings. A total of six hotels are showcased in these developments, among them Marriott International's Ritz-Carlton and Renaissance hotel brands.

Today, Mission Hills Group has achieved many milestones and become the preeminent conglomerate in the sports, tourism, leisure and entertainment industry. The next breakthrough in the Group's evolution will occur as it brings its tried and true branding and golf management services to Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Yunnan, Chongqing and other destinations.

For further information, please contact:
Ms. Sundi Shi
Mission Hills China
Telephone: (86 755) 2802 0888 Ext. 36022

SOURCE Mission Hills Group