Lee Westwood OBE
One of the very best of his generation, Lee Westwood has accumulated 42 professional wins since turning pro in 1996. Lee is one of very few golfers who has won tournaments on five continents – Europe, North America, Asia, Africa and Australia – including 23 European Tour victories and 2 PGA Tour victories. In October 2010, Westwood became the World No.1 ending the reign of Tiger Woods and becoming the first British golfer since Nick Faldo in 1994 to hold that position.
A veteran of the Ryder Cup, Westwood has starred in the last 10 European sides for the bi-annual event and was also named player of the year for the 1998, 2000 and 2009 seasons.
World Golf Hall of Famer, The Big Easy, Ernie Els is widely regarded as one of the greatest South African golfers of all time. Amassing 71 career victories including 4 Major titles, Els is known for his immense naturally gifted talent and rhythmical golf swing.
Ernie Els was destined for greatness after breaking Gary Players record when he became the youngest ever South African Amatuer Champion just a few months after his 17th birthday. Following turning pro in 1989, Els went on to win The Sunshine Tour Order of Merit twice before a breakthrough Major win at the 1994 US Open. Ernie went on to become a 28-time European Tour Winner, 19-time PGA Tour Winner and one of six golfers to win both the US Open and Open Championship twice.
After turning professional in 2011, Emiliano finished in the top 10 in his very first European Tour start at the 2012 Africa Open and went onto become a regular contender on tour. He achieved 14 top 10 finishes over the next four years, including a runner up finish at the 2014 Dubai Desert Classic.
Having being invited to play at the 2015 Puerto Rico Open on a sponsor’s exemption, Grillo narrowly missed out on victory, losing out in a play-off but went onto earn enough from his seven PGA Tour starts to qualify for the 2015 Web.com Tour Finals. He finished 2nd on the Finals Money List, helped by an impressive victory at the Web.com Tour Championship, which earned him a PGA Tour Card for the 2016 season. Grillo continued this brilliant form into the 2016 PGA Tour season, winning the season opener, Fry’s.com Open. This victory saw him move into the world top 50 for the first time.
Four-time European Tour winner Olesen, has enjoyed considerable success at ISPS events having captured the 2014 ISPS Handa Perth International and 2016 ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf with compatriot Søren Kjeldsen.
After turning professional in 2008 he graduated from the Challenge Tour in 2010 earning his 2011 European Tour card. Since then Thorbjørn reached a career high of 33 in the World Golf Rankings picking up 4 European Tour Victories along the way and recording top 10 finishes at The Open Championship in 2012 and The Masters in 2013.
Sir John Key
Sir John Key served as the 38th Prime Minister of New Zealand between November 2008 and December 2016.
During this time he witnessed ISPS HANDA’s charity work at the ISPS HANDA 2016 New Zealand Women’s Open, where Lydia Ko was also the tournament ambassador. That tournament was held soon after a devastating earthquake hit the surrounding Christchurch region in November 2016. The proceeds supported the city’s rebuilding effort after the disaster. The contribution over the years also supported scholarship programmes at nearby Canterbury University, as well as the New Zealand Olympic and Paralympic Committees.
Now as a global ambassador, Sir John Key will continue to travel globally supporting ISPS Handa breaking down educational and cultural barriers through the power of sport.
Despite still being a teenager, Lydia Ko has already rewritten golfing history on a number of occasions. She was the world number 1 amateur for 130 weeks before turning professional in 2013 at the age of 16. Prior to turning pro, Ko had already won four professional events – in doing so, becoming both the youngest ever to win a professional event and the youngest ever to win on the LPGA Tour. The records didn’t stop there and in February 2015, Ko became the youngest golfer ever, male or female, to be ranked no. 1 in the world at just 17 years, 9 months and 8 days.
With 17 professional wins to date, including two major titles, Ko has achieved so much for someone that has yet to even turn 20 and looks set to dominate the sport for years to come.
Away from golf, in April 2014, Ko was named as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people and in both 2014 and 2015, she was named in the EspnW Impact25 list of twenty-five athletes who have made the greatest impact for women in sports.
Dubuisson turned professional in 2010 after playing in The Open Championship, and qualified for the European Tour at that year's qualifying school.
He ended 52nd in the 2012 Race to Dubai. He won for the first time as a professional at the 2013 Turkish Airlines Open. With seven top 10s, he ranked sixth at the 2013 Race to Dubai.
Dubuisson finished second in the 2014 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship to Jason Day & finished 9th at the 2014 Open Championship and 7th at the PGA Championship; Also qualifying directly to represent the winning European team at the 2014 Ryder Cup.
Charley first took up golf at the age of five. She had a successful amateur career, represented GB&I in the Curtis Cup Team and was ranked number three in the World Amateur Golf Ranking.
Charley made her professional debut in 2013 on the Ladies European Tour and also won Rolex Rookie of the Year. Charley was selected to compete in the 2013 Solheim Cup, the youngest ever player in the tournament.
Charley had her first professional win at the Lalla Meryem Cup and became the youngest winner of the Ladies European Order of Merit in 2014. She earned her full LPGA tour car in 2015 and was automatically selected for the Solheim Cup team. She played in all 5 matches and won 4 points, the highest of any European team member.
Charley recorded a second place finish at the first major of 2016 and qualified to represent England in the UL International Crown. In addition, she competed for Great Britain in the Rio Olympic Games and recently topped off the 2016 season in style by winning the 2016 CME Group Tour Championship.
Dame Laura Davies CBE
Dame Laura Davies is the United Kingdom’s most accomplished and decorated professional female golfers of modern times. With more than 80 professional wins worldwide to her name, including 20 on the LPGA Tour and four major titles, Davies was deservedly inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in July 2015.
As well as winning the Ladies European Tour Order of Merit a record seven times, Davies also became the first non-American to finish a season on top of the LPGA Money List in 1994. Alongside her impressive individual records, Davies holds the record for the most appearances in the Solheim Cup (12) on either the United States or European side, and also holds the record for the most individual points (25) in the history of the competition.
A three-time major champion, Padraig Harrington has been one of Europe’s most successful golfers since the turn of the millennium. After turning professional in 1995, it didn’t take Harrington long to make his presence felt, winning on just his 10th start on tour at the 1996 Peugeot Spanish Open. 32 more professional wins have followed to date, with his last victory coming in October 2016 at the Portugal Masters.
Harrington’s first major title came at Carnoustie, in the 2007 Open Championship and he became the first European since 1906 to defend the claret jug a year later at Royal Birkdale. Just three weeks after his second Open title, he became the first European in 78 years to win the PGA Championship. This brilliant 13-month stretch saw him climb to a career high 3rd in the world rankings. He’s also played in six Ryder Cups for Europe, ending up on the winning side on four occasions.
Hideto was born in Hiroshima, Japan in 1978. After turning professional in 2001, he has gone on to have a successful career on the Japan Golf Tour, winning 11 tournaments; his first of which occurred in 2003 at the Mandom Lucido Yomiuri Open. His career boasts appearances in all 4 major championships, with his best performance at The Open Championship in 2006 where he finished T5.
Having travelled to New Zealand early in 2016, Tanihara narrowly missed out on a 12th tour victory at the BMW ISPS HANDA New Zealand Open, but continued his good form soon after at The Crowns tournament, finishing 3rd. His career highlights also include the World Cup where he has represented Japan on 3 occasions, finishing T3 in 2013.
Mike Tindall MBE is one of England's finest and most loved rugby players. His career began in 1997 when at 18 he joined Bath Rugby Club. Tindall was a talented player and from 2000 onwards he became a regular in the English Rugby team and amassed 75 caps for his country. Tindall was an integral part of the winning England side during the 2003 World Cup in a nail-biting final against Australia. The pinnacle of his career came when Tindall was appointed England captain, this was a clear indication of his true leadership skills and respect from the rugby world.
In 2014 Tindall announced his retirement from professional rugby after almost 20 years and since then he has been heavily involved in charity work. Specifically, Tindall is keen to promote grass roots sports, in rugby this is evident from his coaching at Michinhampton RFC. Tindall is also a keen golfer and has gracefully hosted the ISPS Handa Mike Tindall Annual Celebrity Golf Classic, which is a popular event that attracts a number of celebrities and sporting greats.
Sakai is a Japanese professional golfer who plays on the LPGA of Japan Golf Tour and is ranked inside the top 100 in the Official Rolex Women's Golf Rankings. Since turning professional Sakai has won numerous times on the LPGA of Japan including two victories in the 2014 season at the Earth Mondahmin Cup and the Miyagi TV Cup Dunlop Women's Open Golf Tournament.
Born in 1989, Yoshinori began his professional career in 2012 where he quickly won his first title on tour at the Japan Golf Tour Championship Citibank Cup Shishido Hills with a 2 shot victory later in the season. His career includes multiple top 10 finishes in some of the Japan Golf Tour’s showcase/main event, including the BMW ISPS HANDA New Zealand Open.
An Australian professional golfer who won three major championships and 16 LPGA Tour events.
She became a member of the LPGA Tour in 1974 and won three major championships and 16 LPGA Tour events in all. Stephenson was a contestant in the 2011 season of Dancing with the Stars on Channel Seven.