July 01.2016

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A plethora of stars from across the world of sports, entertainment and business descended on Sardinia last weekend to participate in the Costa Smeralda Invitational.

In its second showing following an impressive debut last year, the Costa Smeralda Invitational – played at the stunning Pevero Golf Club – has been heralded a major success by all that took part in the 2016 event, with some billing it as the most fun-filled golf day they've ever played in.

Supporting the Road to Awareness campaign in aid of UNICEF – with all money raised going towards UNICEF's vital water, sanitation and hygiene programmes – the Costa Smeralda Invitational started with a star-studded golf tournament at Pevero Golf Club, before concluding in the evening with a spectacular Gala Dinner at the Hotel Cala Di Volpe.

High-profile names that took time out of their busy schedules to visit Costa Smeralda and support the charity included tournament host and European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke, former footballers Gianfranco Zola, Roberto Di Matteo, Alessandro Del Piero and Andriy Shevchenko, cricket legend Kapil Dev, French tennis player Sandrine Testud, Ladies European Tour players Emma Cabrera-Bello and Amy Boulden, DJ Jamie Theakston, comedian Dom Joly and Strictly Come Dancing pair Ola and James Jordan.

The celebrity men's event was won by Chelsea legend Zola, while Testud picked up the honours in the women's section.

As well as playing in the golf event, the stars donated money in a number of other fun challenges on the course, including a 'Beat The Pro' contest with former Open champion Clarke, who was in great spirits after returning to the island following a memorable visit some 20 years ago.

"I've been to a lot of golf days over the years, but I can't remember having more fun than we had today – and importantly we're doing this for a fantastic cause," said Clarke.

Franco Mulas, Area Manager Costa Smeralda & General Manager Hotel Cala Di Volpe, said: "The second edition of Costa Smeralda Invitational was an amazing event and even better than last year's tournament." 

"This competition is not only a great showcase for our magnificent golf course, hotels and hospitality, it's most importantly a fantastic opportunity for us to show our support for the Road to Awareness campaign in aid of UNICEF," added Mulas.

The evening took the guests to the nearby glitzy Gala Dinner, where the stars also took part in a series of fundraising activities. The highlight of the evening – which finished with a breathtaking firework display – was undoubtedly an auction delivered by the highly-skilled Jonny Gould, with prizes such as a four-ball with Clarke at Portrush drawing some fiercely-competitive bidding.

Speaking after the event, tournament Director Jamie Cunningham, CEO of Professional Sports Group said: "We are delighted with the success of the second Costa Smeralda Invitational. The feedback from Darren Clarke, the celebrities and all the VIPs has been fantastic and we look forward to building on this success in 2017."

Supporters of the 2016 Costa Smeralda Invitational included: presenting partners American Express Global Business Travel, de Grisogono; Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. and Costa Smeralda; official charity 'UNICEF Road to Awareness' in aid of UNICEF; supplier partners AirDP, Calvisius caviar, Davidoff Cigars, Divage, Ethimo Outdoor Furniture, Ermenegildo Zegna, Vigne Surrau, Forst, Golf GameBook, My Style Bags, La Pasqualina and Acqua Smeraldina.

This year the Costa Smeralda Invitational was once again proud to support the Road to Awareness campaign in aid of UNICEF, with all money raised going towards UNICEF's vital water, sanitation and hygiene programmes.

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