HAMILTON, Bermuda (CMC):
National Football League (NFL) Hall of Famer Thurman Thomas and West Indies cricket legend Brian Lara will be among the celebrities who will play in the Pro-Am golf tournament preceding next week's Grand Slam of Golf at picturesque Port Royal, the PGA of America announced yesterday.
Trinidadian Lara, 44, a regular visitor to the island, has played in the Pro-Am before and is an honorary member of Port Royal, a government-run course that is hosting the televised event for the fifth straight year.
Thomas, 47, spent most of his NFL career with the Buffalo Bills before a knee injury ended his career in 2000.
This year's Slam, which takes place next Tuesday and Wednesday, features Masters champion Adam Scott from Australia, US Open winner Justin Rose from England, PGA champion Jason Dufner from the United States and defending champion Padraig Harrington from Ireland.
Harrington replaces British Open champion Phil Mickelson, who has told organisers he has other commitments.
Scott, Rose and Dufner will be playing in Bermuda for the first time.
The two-day, 36-hole Slam is considered the most difficult tournament to qualify for as every player has to have won a major.
This year's purse of US$1.35 million is the same as last year with the winner taking home $600,000. Second place is worth $300,000, third place $250,000 and fourth place $200,000.
The Slam first came to Bermuda in 2007 when it was held at the private Mid Ocean Club. It also staged the event the following year before then-Premier and Tourism Minister Dr Ewart Brown moved it to Port Royal in 2009.
Port Royal, a par-71 course, will host the Slam again next year after which it is expected to return to the United States.