The Monaco US Celebrity Golf Cup returned for its second edition from June 15 to 17, which included the Sovereign Prince hitting balls with Ryder Cup CEO Pascal Grizot off a superyacht and a Gala at the Monaco Yacht Club hosted by Grammy Award winner Kenny G.
The biannual golf event, under the High Patronage of Prince Albert, pits Team USA against Team Europe and serves as a kick-off to Ryder Cup, which this year takes place September 25-28 at Le Golf National in Paris.
The link between the Ryder Cup and the Monaco US Celebrity Cup is Susan Feaster, CEO of Ryder Cup France 2018 US Partners Club and Monaco US Celebrity Cup Chairman, who said, “It has been a great experience to partner Monaco with the highest brand in golf, the Ryder Cup and to benefit the Ryder Cup Trust as well as the Prince Albert II Foundation.”
The event started on Friday morning at the Monte Carlo Golf Club with a Monaco US Celebrity Pro Am Friday tournament that paired a celebrity with three amateurs.
Friday evening, and to the delight of the crowd, USA Captain Prince Albert and European Captain Pascal Grizot competed for the Longest Drive off the deck of a Fraser superyacht – the 70-metre Saint-Nicolas. Guests later enjoyed cocktails and dinner while a harp ensemble played on the top deck.
Saturday’s one-on-one Match Play was a tough competition between 16 Team USA players and their European counterparts, and included a Longest Drive Competition between Longest Drive World Champion Joe Miller (Europe) and Ryan Reisbeck (US).
“The Monaco US Celebrity Golf Cup is an experience like no other,” said Kenny G, who played against Ian Randell, Chief Executive, PGAs of Europe. “For us amateurs who watch the Ryder Cup and dream about what it would be like to represent your country in an event like that, the Monaco U.S. Celebrity Golf Cup is the event that let’s us experience this!
“And the atmosphere of camaraderie sets the stage for making invaluable relationships with our European counterparts in the entertainment, business and Sports World.”
After a hectic day of golf, Saturday evening featured a cocktail party at the legendary Cafe de Paris hosted by Monaco Life.
The Gala on Sunday evening on the fifth floor of the Yacht Club welcomed 200 players and guests, and Kenny G preformed an extraordinary rendition of the Monaco National Anthem as Prince Albert arrived.
A special video message from President Bill Clinton to Prince Albert and the Chairman of Ryder Cup France was shared.
After dinner, a cheque for €50,000 was presented by Prince Albert and CMB Banque CEO Werner Peyer to Ian Randell on behalf of the Ryder Cup European Development Trust, which promotes golf development at the grassroots for beginning players and for youth, ranging from free lessons at European Tour events to disabled golf initiatives, as well as junior and educational programmes.
Additionally, and a first for the event, a silent auction was held, which raised close to €20,000 for the Prince Albert II Foundation.
Prince Albert presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to Pascal Grizot, Chairman, Ryder Cup France 2018, before he lifted the veil off the Monaco US Celebrity Golf Cup, which announced a victory for Team USA.
Over the weekend, Pascal Grizot commented, “A golf game is the best school of life. One day you’re on top of the summit and the next, at the bottom.”
The 55-year-old was also named Personality of the Year on March 16 for his leading role in France’s candidacy for the 2018 Ryder Cup, which he said is an “honour to host the Ryder Cup in our country (which) will help us develop golf. An adventure would never have been possible without the support of clubs and licensees.”
In 2014, the FGF voted in favour of a €3 increase to the annual €46 licence fees, with the intent of using the additional funds to build 100 short courses in France leading up to the Ryder Cup France 2018.
As the third most watched sporting event in the world spotlights France, Grizot says the FFG is reaching out to the French middle class to debunk the elitist attitude many still hold towards the game. “We have built 88 urban short courses, which means less time on the course and less money to play.”
Moreover, the FGF has been working with the National Education to school children ages 8 to 10, by giving them “Mon Carnet Golf”.
Grizot explained, “More than 70,00 students have had access to My Golf Book, which promotes the values of golf and the Ryder Cup. They can even learn English through the initiative.”
This is only the second time the Ryder Cup has been played on Continental Europe (Spain hosted in 1997) and the sold-event expects 55,000 spectators a day.
Sponsors of the 2018 Monaco US Celebrity Golf Cup included: Icon Golf, Monaco Life, CMB Banque, Monaco Asset Management, Powers Property, Fragonard, Blonde Saint-Tropez, Ryder Cup European Development Trust, Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, Café de Paris, Hotel Metropole, Yacht Club of Monaco, Prime Golf Academy, One Eagle, Fraser Yachts, Stars’n’Bars, Bo Concept, John Wine, Risso and Titomirov Vodka.
The golf event returns to the Principality in 2020.
Monaco US Celebrity Pro Am – Team USA vs Europe
US team: Grant Fuhr, Jerry King, Larry Fitzgerald, Josh Scobee, Kenny G, Ìlija Djurdjevic, Piers Ward, Brett Hull, Jay Feely, John Elway, Patrick Peterson, Brian Baumgartner.
Europe team: Pascal Grizot, Marco Simone, Andriy Schevchenko, Nicolas Colsaert, Ian Randell, Joe Miller, Nemanja Vidić, Jean-François Calmes, Alexandre Peclier, Thierry David, Mark Foster, Iain Balshaw.
Monaco US Celebrity Pro Am Friday June 15, 2018
PAIRINGS TEAM USA
CELEBRITY: Grant Fuhr
David Matheson, Andre Champagne, Steve Kerns
CELEBRITY: John Elway
Mike Burke, David McDonald, Jim Bridges
CELEBRITY: Brett Hull
Jeff Goodsell, Karl Overman, Doug Hesse
CELEBRITY: Brian Baumgartner
Nicole Feaster, Gary Gueye, Thibault Cayzac
CELEBRITY: Kenny G
Eric Brundage, Anthony “Toni” Torriani, Shane Heminway
CELEBRITY: Jay Feely
Piers Ward, Mike Powers, Thomas Werup
CELEBRITY: Jerry King
Doug Goldman, Jason Goldman, Matthew Goldman
CELEBRITY: Ìlija Djurdjevic
Gustav Vic, Mrs. Chang, Tom Connor 10.9
CELEBRITY: Josh Scobee, Tim Latiolais
Robert Silva, Howard Baker
PAIRINGS TEAM EUROPE
CELEBRITY: Pascal Grizot
Gaetan de Chezelles, Vincent Bribosia, Reto Bodmer
CELEBRITY: Ian Randell
Thierry David, George Gros, Pierrik Devic
CELEBRITY: Marco Simone
Andriy Schevchenko, Juri Tikhomiron, Emin Agaev
CELEBRITY: Joe Miller
Mo Iqbal, Steve Urquhart, Laurent Genal
CELEBRITY: Iain Balshaw
Alexandre Peclier, Matthieu Louppe, Jean-François Noaro
CELEBRITY: Mark Foster
Elisabeth Boisson, Grégoire Stourdza, Mireille Mueller
CELEBRITY: Nemanja Vidić
Giuseppe Biggi, Daniela Risso, Paolo Risso
CELEBRITY: Jean-François Calmes
Werner Peyer, Jean Paul Gally, Suzanne Peyer
CELEBRITY: Nicolas Colsaert
Quentin d’Ursel, Roger Shine, Eddie Jordan