10th May, 2010

The 13th Annual Texas Irish American Cup Challenge

God indeed smiles on the Irish.  Tornadoes and storms blanketed Oklahoma and the Texas and Oklahoma border but in the little pocket of North Dallas that is Northwood Golf Club despite high winds all stayed relatively calm.  FelCor Lodging Trust’s CFO Andy Welch saw the Texans again retain the title.

Exciting play

Daryl Johnston, national sportscaster and committee member called the shots with an exciting commentary from the field.  The American team of Will Nelson and Randall Curington won the 13th Annual Texas Irish American Cup Challenge with a bogey on the 18th hole.  They bested the Irish duo of Brian Kennedy and David O’Donovan.  Nelson and Curington won the American shootout with a chip off over Jason Ainsworth and Reed Schnittker and Don Hanratty and Ryan Hanratty.  Kennedy and O’Donovan won the Irish Shootout with a chip off over Brian Shaw and Nick Gallagher.

The teams that do not make the Texas Irish Shootout participate in the Celtic Shootout which featured eight total teams starting on the 16th hole.  The team of Peter Leahy and Peter Smith were able to get their chip within 3 feet to move on and join three other teams on the 17th hole.  On the 17th hole, John McHale and Mark Livingston secured their spot for the final hole with an easy two putt par.  Two teams, Leahy and Smith alongside Bennie Brigham and Tom Donovan tied with bogie 5’s and another chip off took place.  With a chip that finished just two inches closer to the hole, the team of Leahy and Smith advanced to the final hole.  The final hole featured McHale and Livingston against Leahy and Smith.  McHale stripped a tee shot and Livingston followed with an approach to within 12 feet of the hole.  Leahy and Smith reached the green in four, and ultimately conceded the shootout to the winners John McHale and Mark Livingston.

Dinner Highlights

Ellen Welch, the women’s committee chair, and Michelle Andersen, who headed up the decorations committee, opted for white-on-white throughout the dining room with a hint of green provided by the Bells of Ireland in the white hydrangea table arrangements.  The evening started with all past winners in their green jackets being piped into the room to thunderous applause.  Hats off to Matthew Crowe and the Northwood staff who despite having 600 Mother’s Day celebrants the previous day came up with a delightful menu and impeccable service.

Auction action

The auction this year with our first professional auctioneer Dean McCurry realized more money for our designated charities than ever before.  Special thanks to Johnny Fortune, Rachel Gaffney, the Kennedy brothers, Susan Morrice, Bill Sullivan, Jack Foley of Aer Lingus, Coole Swan, Doonbeg Golf Club, Dromoland Castle Golf, DuMOL Wines, FelCor Lodging Trust, Charles Gallen Irish Linens, Irish Farmstead Cheeses, JD Golf Tours, Kerrygold Cheeses and Butter, Sullivan Vineyards, and Whitehall Lane Winery for their generous donations of venues and services.

As always the tournament could not happen without Tommy Gallagher and his band of golfers who descend on Dallas year after year making the month of Month of May truly “merrie” for all concerned.

Thanks to our patrons and sponsors

The Golf Chairman and Committee, and the Board of Directors of The American Ireland Fund extend their sincere thanks to our friends and supporters who have demonstrated their commitment to the Fund through their participation in the Irish American Cup Challenge. We recognize with gratitude our Sponsors and extend to them and to all our guests a sincere “Cead Mile Failte” – a hundred, thousand welcomes – and our thanks.

Emerald Sponsorship

June & Archie Bennett

Remington Hotels

Gold Sponsorship

Deep Rock Resources Inc
Ernst & Young
FelCor Lodging Trust
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
Shelly & Tom Codd
Lou Ann & Mike Corboy
Joseph Geary
Carol & Mike Geary
Jane & Don Hanratty
Mary & Albert Huddleston
Ann & Waymon Levell
Dolores McCall
John McHale
Joan & Charles Martin, Sr
Barbara & Cliff Miercort
Sharon & David Saller
Fay & Dan Sheehan
Bonnie & John Strauss
Barbara & Paul Sullivan
Sylvia & John Tillotson
Ellen & Andy Welch

Irish Sponsors

John Cantrell, Cantrell & Crowley Architects
Paul Carroll
Tony Condon, UCD College of Business & Law
Eamonn Cregan, University of Limerick
Laurence Crowley
Kyra Donworth, JD Golf Tours
Geraldine Doran
John Fitzpatrick
Nick Gallagher
Tom Gallagher
John Kane
Brian Kennedy
John Kennedy
John McIlroy
David Newman
David O’Donovan
Gerry O’Reilly
Martin Rouine
Paddy Shanahan
Brian Shaw, Doonbeg Golf Club
Frank Sinnott
Simon Sleeman


Belinda & Alan Barnes
James J Byrne
Deanna, Devon, and Brenna McHugh
Susan Morrice, Belize Natural Energy
Jim Vincent
Aer Lingus
Alan Barnes Fine Art
Bandito’s Tex-Mex
Butlers Chocolate Café
Charles Gallen Irish Linen
Coole Swan
Doonbeg Golf Club
Dromoland Castle
Irish Farmstead Cheeses
JD Golf Tours
Rachel Gaffney’s Real Ireland
Whitehall Lane Winery