Monday, November 8th, 2010
Charity tournament has Hollywood buzz ahead of this week’s Canadian Open
Even on one of Canada’s most hallowed golf courses, Samuel L. Jackson’s persona is as bad ass as some of his Hollywood roles.
The Oscar-nominated star of Pulp Fiction and Snakes on a Plane was impossible to miss at St. George’s Golf and Country Club in Toronto on Monday, decked out in a loud orange hat and matching shirt.
One of the best things about golf, he has said, is you can dress like a pimp.
He gave fist bumps to his foursome and mock-serious hell to bumbling reporters. And he wasn’t nervous about teeing off among some of the greatest golfers on the planet.
“There’s nothing to be afraid of,” he said before driving off the first tee. “I’m not in the gallery. I’m not getting hit.”
The Mike Weir Charity Classic, which kicked off the RBC Canadian Open tournament week and raised money to help children through the Mike Weir Foundation, drew a number of other celebrities, including NHL players Dion Phaneuf, Martin Brodeur and Steven Stamkos, former CFL quarterback Damon Allen and actor Kevin Dillon of HBO’s hit series Entourage.
Unlike some of the Hollywood participants, Canadian Olympic gold medalist Jon Montgomery worried about his ability to hit straight off the tee. “[The nerves] are creeping up on me now,” he said.
In Jackson’s case, however, hooking a drive into the gallery was unlikely. A three handicap who can hit the ball 335 yards, Jackson has struck an enviable balance between his Hollywood day job and his off-duty passion for golf, which has grown ever since he picked up the game after moving to Los Angeles in the mid-1990s. His acting contracts include clauses that guarantee him tee times between filming.
And while shooting Star Wars in Australia, he carried a light sabre in his golf bag.
The tournament, which paired regular golfers who had paid for the chance to go 18 holes with celebrities and professional golfers, also attracted a number of fans who were simply happy to see the players warm up.