LAURINBURG — At the conclusion of the two-day Richard L. Byrne Memorial Golf Tournament on Wednesday, participants had swung, chipped, and putted their way to raising $133,168 for Scotland Regional Hospice.
Eaton’s Golf Pride has sponsored the tournament since its inception, and on Tuesday evening the man responsible was honored with the state’s Order of the Long Leaf Pine at Scotch Meadows Country Club on the occasion of the tournament’s 30th anniversary.
“We try to do a good job putting on the tournament, but really and truly the mission of Hospice and the ministry of Hospice is really what’s carried it forward,” said former Eaton general manager Bill Hill, who initially offered to sponsor the event.
“At that point in time it was just a tournament, but over the years its become much more than that. The whole community came out because hospice affects everybody’s lives and has a multiplier for everybody.”
The 2016 tournament brought the tournament’s lifetime fundraising total to above $3.6 million. But it was far from routine, as Larry Locklear became the first in the tournament’s history to take home the event’s $5,000 prize for successfully landing three consecutive putts of 20, 30, and 50 feet.
The lively banter surrounding Wednesday’s silent auction, directed by retired District Court Judge John Horne, demonstrated the sense of camaraderie that has come to be part of the tournament over the years.
“It’s such a good cause and worthwhile organization – I don’t know how they actually do it, myself,” said Les Bathie, who has participated for 10 years. “I would hate to be in that position where I need hospice, and I think everybody should think that way. They’re so deserving of everything we can do to help finance something that’s so critical and important to everybody.”
Another tournament tradition is the raffle of a diamond ring donated by Bob’s Jewel Shop owner Gertrude McCabe. For 16 years, McCabe has donated a ring for the benefit of Hospice in memory of her late husband Lawson and to honor the care provided to him by hospice staff — including nurse Sue Kirby, who on Wednesday shared her recollections of the McCabe family patriarch.
“After a couple of visits into their home, I knew that this was a very special family. Lawson had already taught me so much about my personal life and my professional life,” said Kirby, recalling her patient’s exhortation not to forego an out-of-state trip to see her family.
“Lawson knew that I had some reservation about going and he looked at me one day and he said: ‘I’m going to tell you something girl, you go to see your mom and dad. You never give up an opportunity to see your family, because they might not be around.’”
Results of the 2016 Scotland Regional Hospice Richard L. Byrne Memorial Golf Tournament:
1st — Jane Callahan, 82
2nd — Jo Caldwell, 84
1st —Georgia Mulee, 69
2nd — Janice Davis, 69
Ladies’ team 2-ball net:
1st —Jane Callahan, Mary Rose Patton, Beverly Thompson, Betty Rogers
2nd — B.J. Clark, Anna McMillan, Shelia Locklear, Sue Grady
Men’s closest to pin (Tuesday):
#2 —Eric Gordon
#7 — Eric Gordon
#12 — Troy Hunter
#17 — Danny Caddell
#9 — Larry Lee
#18 — Ed Butler
Men’s gross individual:
1st — Joel Hartwell, 67
2nd — William Carter, 69
3rd — Patrick Merkil, 70
4th — Mike Clemmons, 70
5th — Noel Howell, 72
6th — Perry Johnson, 73
Men’s net individual:
1st — Troy Matthews, 59
2nd — Luiz Nascimento, 62
3rd — Charles Bounds, 63
4th — Jay Todd, 64
5th — Mark Wagner, 64
6th — Matt Cheek, 64
Men’s team 2-ball net:
1st — Richard Boles, Breck High, Troy Matthews, Charles Whitehead
2nd — Baxter Lee, Gene McLaughlin, Blake Caldwell, Thomas Willis
3rd — Eric Walsh, Mark Murphy, Mac McLaurin, Chris Hayes
4th — Boyd McLaurin, Troy Hunter, Ben Stanton, Doug Morton
5th — Bill Morgan, Mike Ashley, Larry Morgan, Jeff Greenfield
6th — Rodney McCarter, Pat Hill, Mike Clemmons, Ashley McKenzie
Men’s closest to pin (Wednesday):
#2 — Charls Whitehead
#7 — Terry Graves
#12 — Donald Barringer
#17 — Richard Boles
#9 — Troy Matthews
#18 — Brian Jones
Mary Katherine Murphy can be reached at 910-506-3169.