Kelli Shean has received a late invitation to the seventh Nelson Mandela Invitational, starting at the Arabella Golf Course tomorrow, and says she’s delighted to hobnob with some the world’s most elite.
“I got a phone call on Wednesday afternoon from (tournament Media Director) Duncan Cruickshank, and he said ‘Listen, you’d better pack your bags, you’re coming through to Arabella tomorrow!’”, Shean told gsport this morning.”
“Kelli has been performing incredibly well over the past couple of years,” said Cruickshank explaining the tournament’s satisfaction at hooking this exciting golfer.
“The Nelson Mandela Invitational benefits two charities, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, and the Gary Player Foundation, with children as a focus for both charities,” Cruickshank told gsport, adding that the charities benefit equally from funds gathered by the Invitational.
“I’m really honoured and grateful to be a part of this event,” said Shean, who had planned to attend one of golfing’s greatest charity events as a spectator.
“All of a sudden, here I am, and I’m actually playing,” exclaimed Shean, who will join a star-studded cast including Sally Little, Ashleigh Simon (playing as a celebrity), top men’s golfers Gary Player, Hugh Balocchi, Vincent Tshabalala, Tim Clark, Retief Goosen, Trevor Immelman and Gary Schwartzel, to name a few.
Things seem to be going well for Shean, having just finished her grade 12 finals, and was signed last week for the Arkansas University Ladies Razorback Golf Team on a full scholarship, not long after winning the Espirito Santo Trophy for South Africa with Simon and Stacey Bregman in the World Amateur Team Championships in Stellenbosch.
“I’m just taking things one day at a time, one tournament at a time,” said Shean explaining her relaxed temperament. “Thank goodness it’s not a major tournament, I’m pretty much here to have fun, and raise money for charity.”