By Michael Gresham
The Texas Catholic
Sunny skies and an equally sunny disposition permeated the scene Sept. 19 as a crowd of supporters of Catholic schools gathered at the TPC-Four Seasons Resort and Club for the start of the 12th annual Bishop’s Invitational Golf Tournament. By day’s end, the celebration was even bigger as it was announced that those same supporters had set a record for the most funds raised in tournament history — more than $700,000.
All proceeds from the event, held again this year at the TPC-Four Seasons Resort and Club and Cottonwood Valley courses, provide tuition assistance for students to attend Catholic schools in the Diocese of Dallas.
In welcoming golfers to the event, Bishop Edward J. Burns praised tournament co-chairs Tom and Sue Merkel and also thanked all those involved in helping make the tournament a success, including past chairs and current sponsors.
“The Diocese of Dallas is blessed with wonderful Catholic schools, and I’ve turned to all of you who are participating today because you help make it all happen,” Bishop Burns said. “In our Catholic schools, we give our children what is necessary for a life of discernment, a life of fulfillment, and a foundation for the future. We prepare them for college and for heaven. Thank you so much for all that you do to help us bring forth an excellent, quality education for these students.”
Bishop Burns also praised Don and Jane Hanratty, co-founders of the event.
“It is amazing how this event has grown,” he said. “It is absolutely amazing what it has done over these past 12 years.”
Members of the Mary Immaculate Catholic School drill team and St. Cecilia Catholic School cheer squad were on hand to cheer on the golfers while St. Bernard of Clairvaux Catholic School and St. Philip & St. Augustine Catholic Academy student ambassadors also were in attendance. More than 200 golfers comprising 54 teams participated in the tournament, which was made possible by more than 139 sponsors, including title sponsor CHRISTUS Health.
Sports radio personality and Bishop Dunne Catholic School alumnus Craig Miller served as the master of ceremonies for the awards banquet and dinner following the tournament. The Bishop Dunne advanced strings group provided music for the evening reception.
Since the inaugural golf tournament in 2011, the Bishop’s Invitational had raised more than $7 million in tuition assistance, accounting for more than 3,600 scholarships awarded to students of Catholic schools in the Diocese of Dallas.
Kelly Halaszyn, diocesan director of development, said this year’s record-breaking effort will significantly add to that total.
“For the 2022-2023 school year, earnings of the Dallas Diocesan Education Endowment Trust and Bishop’s Invitational Golf Tournament are providing more than $2 million in tuition assistance for nearly 2,000 students throughout the Diocese of Dallas for the first time,” he said. “With enrollment growing across our Catholic schools, this support is becoming even more important to our community. I extend our sincere appreciation to CHRISTUS Health as our title sponsor, Sue and Tom Merkel as our 2022 Event Chairs, and the entire community for supporting the Saints and Scholars entrusted to our care.”
Halaszyn added that even though the annual tournament met its goal for 2022, opportunities to support more students and create new scholarships continue at BishopsGolf.org/donate.
Tournament winners included:
- The 2022 Bishop’s Cup winners were Patrick Reyes, Mark Burkett, Louis Pena, and Juan Bedolla of St. Jude Chapel
TPC: The Player’s Course
- 1st Place: Joe Slovensky, Charlie Holland, Nathan Jennings, and Tom McCarthy – Slovensky
- 2nd Place: Brian Tusa, Stewart McLeod, Matthew Heisley, and John Kidwell – Trinsic Residential Group for Christ the King
- 3rd Place: Marc Lyons, Jim Wales, Brad Greer, and Steve Crowley – Lyons for All Saints
- Highest Score: Austin Black, John Dickschat, Nick Gibbings, and Kyle DeFreitas – Mutual of America
- Closest to the Pin (TPC): David Henry
- Straightest Drive (TPC): Lamar Johnson
- 1st Place: Jeff Baum, Jim Neuman, Terri Baum, and Doug Baum – Autoplex
- 2nd Place: Kyle Callahan, Michael Callahan, Ben Compton, and Jason Batliner – Popolo
- 3rd Place: Blake Vierling, Steve French, Joe Wood, and Michael Fuller – Gates
- Highest Score: Kevin Daughtery, Tony Barton, Michael Fish, and Charles Carroway – CHRISTUS
- Closest to the Pin (Cottonwood Valley): Chris Conway
- Straightest Drive (Cottonwood Valley): Jeff Baum