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Celebrity Sighting

Hilton Head Island's Celebrity Golf Tournament is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a star-studded lineup of golfers and a new "locals" tournament.

This year's friendly fairway competition – a fundraiser for children's charities – will be played Sept. 4 at Palmetto Dunes' Robert Trent Jones Course and Sept. 5 at Sea Pines Resort's Harbour Town Golf Links. For the first time, local players are invited to join in the fun and compete in their own tournament set for Sept. 3 at the Arthur Hills Course in Palmetto Dunes.

Among the celebrities who have signed up to play in the main event are Grammy-winning saxophonist Branford Marsalis, FOX News anchor Bret Baier, actor Cheech Marin, comedian Henry Cho, Celebrity Chef Robert Irvine and Academy Award-winning composer Paul Williams. "Anytime I can play mediocre golf and raise money for children's charities, I'm there," Williams said "And it's Hilton Head Island, one of my favorite places in the world. I look forward to this tournament every year."

Williams, whose long list of pop hits includes "We've Only Just Begun," "Rainy Days and Mondays" and "The Rainbow Connection" from The Muppet Movie, will be participating in his 10th Celebrity Golf Tournament. "He's not a good golfer, but he's very entertaining," said tournament co-producer Carol Kavanaugh. "He has been known to break out in song in the middle of a round."

The guest list also includes a number of sports stars, among them former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Ken Anderson, former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Sterling Sharpe and former World Boxing Association heavyweight champion James "Bonecrusher" Smith. "We get a wide mix of golfers, so it's not always pretty," Kavanaugh said. "It's all about the camaraderie and raising money for children's needs."

Since its inception, the tournament has raised more than $3 million for local children's charities, teaming up celebrities and sports stars with amateur players. The fee to play is $2,250 and includes two rounds of golf with different celebrities and admission to the Friday Night Trustees Oceanside Party, Saturday's Red Carpet Event and the Awards Presentation on Sunday.

The Locals Tournament on Friday costs $195. Although players are not matched with celebrities, they are invited to the Trustees Oceanside Party.

Admission to the Celebrity Tournament is free and open to the public.

"You can come out and get autographs and shake hands with your favorite entertainer or sports hero," Kavanaugh said. "It's a fun event everyone enjoys."

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