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Sunday, July 31, 2016

An A-May-Zing Day!

Every year about this time I write a new blog post that seems familiar to me.  The reason for that is because I always write something about the annual Ranken Jordan golf tournament and what a great event it always is.  This year was no exception!  Just shy of a week ago, July 25 to be exact, the largest Ranken Jordan golf tournament to date was held at Norwood Hills Country Club in St. Louis, MO.  Before I go any farther I want to say "thank you" to the 63 foursomes, dozens of sponsors, and the many volunteers to combined to create such a great day to benefit some amazing kids.  The turnout was incredible and I am already looking forward to see how much bigger the 2017 event can be!

Those who know me best know how much I look forward to the second weekend in April and all that Masters Week entails.  My three favorite golf shots of the year (although in 2016 there were only two) are when Mr. Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Gary Player officially start the Masters Tournament.  For the past two years I have witnessed up close three other tee shots that are every bit as important to me as the three struck by those legends of the game.  Starting in 2015 we began our own tradition at the Ranken Jordan golf tournament by having 3 of our legends hit honorary tee shots to start the tournament.  This year the our starters were Sam Ward, Drew Hessler, and May Reynoso.  Instead of doing an inadequate job of explaining how incredible this ceremony was, please watch this short news story by Frank Cusumano of KSDK-TV5 (NBC) here in St. Louis:  Ranken Jordan Honorary Starters.

Drew Hessler preparing to hit his tee shot to start the golf tournament.

Sam Ward finishing his pre-shot routine before ripping his tee shot down the middle
After starting the tournament in such a wonderful way the day continued to get better as I went to join my group.  While we did not win the tournament (or really even come close), the group I played with enjoyed every second, laughed a lot, hit some good shots, and had a fantastic day overall.  However the quality of play had nothing to do with why this was one of the most special rounds of golf I have ever played.  The group I was part of consisted of one of our honorary starters, May Reynoso, and her family.  Being able to spend the day with them and watching May hit some great golf shots turned the day into one I will never forget.  May has worked very hard to overcome her health challenges.  Seeing her on the golf course smiling, laughing, playing, helping me drive the golf cart, and just being a kid, was an experience of a lifetime.  Following the tournament a video featuring May was shown to the 300+ people in attendance at the dinner.  For those of you wondering, no, I did not make it through the video with dry eyes.  The video can be viewed by clicking this link:  May's Video.

May once again knocking her approach shot closer than me

Playing in the Ranken Jordan golf tournament is always the highlight of my playing each year.  There is no tournament that I am a part of that carries as much significance as this one.  Seeing on a weekly basis why we are playing and why this tournament is so important is a huge reason for that.  There is an incredible amount of good done in one day for the kids; however there can always be more.  Next July I would like to write another blog post about having the largest Ranken Jordan golf tournament ever.  As mentioned earlier, we had 63 teams this year which means we have room for 9 more.  If you did not play this year, consider playing next year so you can see the three greatest golf shots of the year and learn why we all should "consider the children first in all that we do."
May, the star of the show!

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