Shields Tournament Host a
Packed Field and Raises over $15,000
By Dr. Kevin Mathias
After a week of rain, the clouds parted for the 34th
Annual Shields Memorial Golf Tournament at Twin Shields
Golf Club on Friday, May 10, and Elvis appeared. A packed field of 160
golfers traversed the rolling terrain at Twin Shields Golf Club throughout this
picture perfect day.
Players at the 34th Annual Shields Memorial
from left to right are Todd Cowing (Genesis Turfgrass), Mark Allman (Chartwell
C.C.), Matt Kruekill (Chester River Golf and C.C.), Tom Tipton (Prospect Bay
C.C.), Mike Minard (Turf Equipment and Supply), and Ken McFadden (Genesis
It was also a special time for me to see how important
our alumni, golf and turf businesses and associations were in supporting this
tournament. Well over 80 players in the tournament were UMD alumni or turfgrass
professionals and a majority of our sponsors were turfgrass businesses and associations
such as the Eastern Shore Association of Golf Course Superintendents.
Mark Merrick’s (Golf ‘86) daughter came up with a new fund raising scheme
called “Closest to the Keg Hole” and we earned over $600 on players attempting
to land their drive closest to a beer keg in the middle of the 14th fairway!
Over $15,000 was raised at this year’s
tournament and the proceeds support student scholarships and turfgrass
educational programs at the University of Maryland’s Institute of Applied
Agriculture (IAA). In 2013 the IAA sent multiple teams of students to
compete in national competitions. We placed 1st out of 34 teams in the Student
Challenge at the Sports Turf Managers Association in Daytona Beach, Florida and
had three teams place 3rd, 4th, and 11th in a field of 69 teams at the 19th
Annual GCSAA Turf Bowl Competition in San Diego, California. Since 1991 a total
of 92 scholarships have been awarded to deserving students majoring in our Golf
Turf program. This accomplishment would not have been possible without
alumni, industry, and the Shields families’ support of this benefit tournament.
And even Elvis showed up to give his approval by posing with the players on the
first tee throughout the tournament.