Sandhills Childrens Center considered winner of tourney

First Posted: 3/25/2013

One hundred and sixteen golfers participated recently in the 15th Annual Kelly Cup Golf Championship at Pinehurst No. 8, The Centennial Course, and when it was all over Sandhills Children’s Center was the real winner. In a tournament that lacks any hoopla or circumstance, players and sponsors came together, enjoyed fantastic weather while helping to raise nearly $21,000 to benefit children throughout the Sandhills Region.

“This is just a simple tournament,” said Chair Tom Stewart. “All the money goes directly to the Center; it’s all about playing golf with friends and helping children.”

Stewart, who owns and operates Old Sport & Gallery, located in the Village of Pinehurst, donated framed artwork from his store as trophies for the tournament winners. Before the shotgun start, Stewart said, “Remember, this tournament is all about children; so, if you think you need to cheat, keep in mind, I donated the trophies and you shouldn’t even bother.”

This was a modest statement from a man who, along with his wife Ilana, owns a shop that houses one of the most iconic collections of golf memorabilia in America. Old Sport and Gallery has been featured in Golf Digest, Sports Illustrated and the New York Times, to name a few among many publications.

“We are just really lucky to have someone like Tom [Stewart] to chair our tournament each year,” said Teresa Copper, Director of Special Events and Community Relations at Sandhills Children’s Center. “His golf connections, his personality and his commitment to our mission make him an indelible part of this event,” Copper said.

Pinehurst Resort played a big role as well. The famed No. 8 is wrought with lore and is a great representation of the mystique that defines Pinehurst. The resort again graciously contributed to the Kelly Cup by hosting this year’s event at no cost to the Children’s Center. The draw of the Centennial Course alone is undoubtedly a large part of the tournament’s success.

There is no question the Tom Fazio designed No. 8 provided a healthy challenge for the drove of golfers that played in the best ball competition but hearty treats followed. Outback Steakhouse of Southern Pines grilled chicken and steak on site while Cold Stone Creamery dished out ice cream for all. Needless to say, no golfers were left wanting. Aberdeen Coca Cola and R.A. Jeffreys Distributing provided beverage refreshment throughout the day.

While the golf was tough, there were still tournament winners. For the first time in its history, the Kelly Cup honored the best women’s net score; Jenny Goff, Shirley Biggar, Wanda Warner and Peggy Cleary took home that prize. The top overall net winners were P.J. Zahran, Lewis Davis, Brady Rowland and Peter Zahran, playing for Mutual Distributing. The top gross score winners were Mark Dutton, Adam Morris, Mike Campbell and Robert Bortins, playing for Classical Conversations.

There was great food, plenty to drink, sweet treats and great prizes but everyone involved, from volunteers to the players to the resort staff agree; the real winners of the Kelly Cup are the children who are served daily by the mission and vision of Sandhills Children’s Center.