Irish popstar and philanthropist Ronan Keating and golf legend Gary Player have teamed up to bring together the best in music and golf for a just cause – to raise funds for cancer.

The idea was inspired by the loss of both the mothers of Player and Keating to cancer. This morning, they teed-off in a golf tournament at Westlake golf club. It was preceded by a gala dinner and charity auction in Cape Town last night.

A million-rand was raised, half of which will go a charity of Player’s choice, while the other half will be donated to the Oncology Unit of the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Rondebosch for upgrades.

South Africa’s most celebrated and decorated golf icon, Gary Player, says the auction he hosted for charity with Irish pop star Ronan Keating, at the One and Only Hotel, in Cape Town last night, was a great success.

The two have teamed up to raise R1 million for cancer. Half of the money will go to Player’s charity, the Blake Atholl Foundation, while the other half will be donated to a charity of Keating’s choice.

Player, who is the only golfer to have won The Open in three different consecutive decades, has kept charitable efforts at the centre of his successful career.

To date he has raised more than R800 million for charity. Player says raising money for children who are suffering, makes him happy.

“I go around the world raising money and so does Ronan Keating and last night was a great, great success. A lot of fun with people! We had Jean, our rugby captain there and a lot of top businessmen. They were so generous and I find South Africans very generous when it comes to helping people in our country.”

Keating says his work to raise funds to fight cancer lies especially close to his heart, since he lost his mother to the disease 20 years ago.

Keating’s mother died at the age of 51. He says he has chosen the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Rondebosch as his charity.

“The money that I raise in any country stays within the country, so for me that money will go to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital to improve the oncology ward which is really important. I visited the hospital yesterday, They’re doing great work, but they can always improve on what they have in their facilities and that’s why we’ve chosen that as the charity of choice.”

Keating ended the golf day with a live unplugged performance at Westlake Golf Course.