The Ireland Funds 23rd Texas Irish American Cup Challenge 2022
World Golf Hall of Fame Member, 2-Time Major Winner (US Open and PGA Championship), 8-time PGA Tour wins overall
Jim and Suzanne Duda / Kevin and Lisa Youngblood
Tournament Wrap Up
What a weekend for the 23rd Texas Irish American Cup Challenge!
Texas hospitality rang true as team captains and out-of-town guests were welcomed at Javier’s Gourmet Mexicano near downtown Dallas on Saturday evening. Nearly 30 guests enjoyed the warm spring evening to kick off our weekend with friends from across the friendly state as well as Hawaii and Ireland. Sunday afternoon brought us together again at the beautiful home of Dr. Sam and Cheryl Chantilis as they hosted a Masters Watching Party – with a very fitting end as our own local Scottie Scheffler donned the green jacket for 2022. Thank you to Tournament Co-Chairs, Jim & Suzanne Duda and Kevin & Lisa Youngblood, along with Rick Bush and the Chantilis’ who arranged and hosted in gracious Texas-style.
Monday morning began with a Shotgun Start at 9:00 a.m. After a short pause due to inclement weather, golfers resumed and it was luxurious play on the beautiful Lakewood Country Club course.
David Feherty, former PGA golfer and NBC golf commentator, joined the festivities during lunch to hand out net and gross trophies as well as meet and greet golfers throughout the day. David also awarded the Low Irish Team trophy to Irish team members Kieran Quinn, Barry O’Reilly, Garry Cullinane, and Tom Taaffe.
Twenty-nine teams began the day competing for the coveted Texas Irish American Cup Challenge Waterford Crystal Harp Trophy. After a full round of 18 holes, 15 teams qualified for the Shootout starting on hole #10 at 4:00 p.m. Each of the 15 teams selected two team members to represent them. Four teams were eliminated on hole #10 with a double bogey 6. The next hole, #16, five teams were eliminated with a bogey 5. This left 6 teams playing hole #17 with only two teams advancing to hole #18.
Five teams tied with a par 5 and had to chip off with the two closest to the hole advancing. The teams of Ryan Hanratty / Marc Lyons and Brian Coe/Kevin Youngblood won the right to play hole #18 and compete for the Harp Trophy.
Ryan found the right rough with his tee shot and Marc followed catching the right greenside bunker. Ryan blasted out and Marc narrowly missed the putt giving them a bogey 5.
Brian’s tee shot and Kevin’s second shot found the green about 20 feet from the pin. Brian putted about 3 feet and Kevin made the winning putt for a par 4 to win the 23rd edition and get their names etched on the Harp Trophy. A great time was had by all and again congratulations to Team Duda (Jim Duda, Brian Coe, Greg Rich, and Kevin Youngblood) for a great victory!
Cocktail Reception, Dinner & Auction
Following the Harp Trophy Ceremony, the Cocktail Reception was in full swing. Guests enjoyed a Bertha’s Revenge Irish Milk Gin tasting, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and the beautiful music provided by pianist Bach Norwood followed by a delicious dinner while entertainment was provided by McLeod Nine Duo. Vice President of Development, Texas, Meg Finley, and President and CEO, Caitriona Fottrell, presented on The Ireland Funds mission highlighting the some of the great works supported by the Texas constituency. After the live auction, guest speaker David Graham, two-time major winner (US Open and PGA Championship) and World Golf Hall of Fame member regaled guests of his journey to becoming a world-renowned golf champion over his 36-year career. He ended his presentation with a Q&A and expressed his gratitude to The Ireland Funds and his good friend Ed Garahan, CEO of Carbon Companies.
Meg Finley thanked guests for their support and attendance and extended an invitation to stay for Irish coffee and an old-fashioned Irish singsong. A great day was enjoyed by all, and key support was raised for the mission of The Ireland Funds.
Photos: Can Turkyilmaz, Meg Finley
Since 1998, the Irish golfers have traveled to Dallas for the Texas Irish American Cup Challenge. It all began with Mike Corboy, Jack Sistrunk, Tom Tierney and Tommy Gallagher more than 20 years ago. Together, the foursome dreamed up the idea of having a friendly golf tournament between the Irish and Americans. That dream continues to live and thrive.