On the greens, for the blue
Dick Shanahan Memorial Tournament collects funds for Marco Island Police Foundation
Terry McCreanor figured out the Marco Police Foundation’s golf event. You can’t be sure of winning, especially when the winning score for 18 holes was 54 strokes, a tally that touring pros can only dream of. But you can be sure to be the most splendidly attired golfer on the links, and McCreanor, dapper in knickers, tartan knee socks, cabbie cap, crisp white shirt and necktie complete with stickpin, set a sartorial standard the other players could not match.
The only competition for McCreanor’s togs was the statue of “The Squire,” Gene Sarazen, the legendary golfer whose bronze likeness watches over the putting green at the Island Country Club, where the MPF held the tournament. For the second year, this was the Dick Shanahan Memorial Tournament, in honor of the the Marco Island stalwart.
Shanahan, who passed away two years ago, chaired the MPF tourney numerous times, one of scores of golf tournaments he helmed over the years, and served as police foundation president in 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009. Banners with Shanahan looking dapper in a tuxedo adorned the putting green, where golfers contributed to the cause by ponying up for the chance to sink a long putt.
In all, said current MPF president Dick Adams, the foundation raised about $14,000 on Saturday morning, money they will use to fund scholarships for the children of Marco Island police officers, as well as helping the officers deal with unexpected situations such as illness. A total of 112 players in 28 foursomes came out to participate, a strong showing at the beginning of October.
In a sign of cooler weather on the way, the morning was comfortable – even for those wearing neckties – with the humidity held at bay. After months of rain, the Island Country Club’s championship layout was lush and green, perfect for showing off their $6 million renovation. That was just nearing completion last fall, when Hurricane Irma roared ashore and added its own contribution to altering the landscape.
Head pro Ben Tilley said the timing was lucky, as the earthmoving and heavy construction was all complete before the hurricane struck.
“We got everything laid down. It worked out really good,” he said. Tilley and tournament chairman, and proprietor of major sponsor CJ’s on the Bay, Curt Koon got the golfers started, sending them out all over the course for the shotgun start.
Although the course lost hundreds of trees blown over, many of the signature banyan trees that give the course were still standing, spreading out an awe-inspiring canopy above the course. Also intact was the dead pine tree where a bald eagle nest has a pair of occupants, although they were not visible by the time the golfers got out on the course.
Almost underneath the nest, Jack Patterson and Ray McChesney sat lurking in the shrubbery off the fairway, looking like state troopers in a speed trap, but really acting as hole in one monitors. No one claimed the $10,000 prize for sinking the hole in one.
The winning foursome of Firestone, Kopp, Lillian and Lillian won the $400 prize with their best-ball score of 54. In second place, also with a 54, however that was determined, were Shea, Canady, Hughes and Donaghy.
Mandy Roth and Don Beurlein won the longest drive competition for men and women, and Pam Pettill and Joshua Kopp won for closest to the pin.
In an election year “sign of the times,” the placards promoting hole sponsors included many for political candidates, along with at least one for an author publicizing his book. Congratulations Peter Karl, on “Dark Rage,” indicated as “to be published soon,” for the innovative marketing gambit of the day.