The “Bronze” is back!

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“The ‘Bronze’ is back,” said Darwin Dean, president and sponsor of the Upper Midwest Bronze Amateur Memorial Golf Tournament. The “Bronze” began in 1939 as an open tournament that gave minorities an opportunity to play golf and compete against the best golfers in the area.

Men of that day opened the doors to golf for minority communities of Minnesota. Men such as Jimmy Slemmons, Cecil Newman and Solomon Hughes Sr. supported the “Bronze” and attracted competitive golfers from all over the nation. A former “Bronze Amateur Champion” is Joe Louis, who won the Championship Flight in 1957.

The number of golfers playing and people gathering to watch the “Bronze” golf tournament may have been larger at its peak, but the spirit, excitement and enthusiasm could not have been greater than at this year’s 2016 tournament.

Before the 2016 golf season began, former champions Patrick Davis and Greg Evans had committed to play in this year’s tournament along with premier golfers in the men’s division such as Rafael Monge, Alan Battles, George Mburu, Francisco Orench, Peter Omoke, Maurice Hudson, Keith Lewis, Tray Pollard, Bobby Ongechi, Billy Mackins, Everett Pettiford, Maurice Kumenda and Mario Green.

Additional golfers came the day play began and were welcome. Players like Al Cobb, Julles Jones, Roderick Blount, Antoine Samuels, Doug Crawford and Phillip Graves came to validate their game against the best on Saturday, July 30, 2016.

Strong support and leadership from our women golfers made the field of female golfers solid. Some of the leaders in the group of women are Martha Arrandondo, Lisa Lissimore, Ramona McCree, Rhonda Dean, Marylynn Boone, Deanna Strothers, Fayneese Miller, Dannette Strickland and Lynnette Landry.

We have men who are the backbone of the “Bronze,” avid supporters and historians. They are Ed Manderville, Bob Shelton, Russell Crawford, David Curtis, Willie Hall, Eric Smalley, John Snoddy, David Rundles, Lyle T. Johnston, Dennis Blue, Raymond Boyd, Al Frost, Kevin Foote, Jerry Johnson, Tyron King, Winde Lawerence, Mac Benson, Berry Mack and Best Dressed Charles McKissack.

These men give the “Bronze” the spirit that makes the tournament go. However, that spirit was illustrated best by Glen “G-Money” Stubbs, who showered us with the spirit of golf sitting on the 10th Tee box. He had a large million-dollar smile on his face that we will always remember.

You could feel his spirit of love and enjoyment long before he reached out to shake hands with you. Though he could not play this year, Glen was there to show his love and support, not just for the game he loves but also for what the tournament and its history meant to him. Thank you “G-Money” and Golf Pro Leonard Jones.

This year’s 2016 “Bronze” champions are as follows:

Men’s Division Championship Flight

  • Patrick Davis 2) Bobby Ongechi 3) Maurice Kumenda

Men’s Division A Flight

  • Al Cobb 2) Maurice Hudson

Men’s Division B Flight

  • Mario Green 2) Keith Lewis

Men’s Division C Flight

  • Darwin Dean 2) Phillip Graves

Women’s Division Championship Flight

  • Deanna Strothers 2) Ramona McCree 3) Rhonda Dean

Senior Men’s Championship Flight

  • John Snoddy 2) Dennis Blue 3) Lyle Johnston

Senior Women’s Championship Flight

  • Fayneese Miller 2) Lynnette Landry 3) Marylynn Boone

Golden Senior’s Championship Flight

  • Bob Shelton 2) David Curtis 3) Ozzie Johnson

Thanks to the Fairway Foundation, our Junior tournament was made successful on Thursday, July 28, 2016. It is a pleasure to know Coach Dave Goodlow, Gary Prevost and Robert Foster. These men are continuing the legacy of the “Bronze” by instructing and introducing youth to the wonderful game of golf.

This year’s Junior “Bronze” Champions are as follows:

Boy’s 15 to 18

  • Re’Twan Balenger 2) Otto Emmings

Girl’s 15 to 18

  • Hannah Bruns 2) Iyanna Hutchinson

Boy’s 11 to 14

  • Ricardo Martinez 2) Caron Crowe 3) Myles Jarrett and Brett McNeal

Boy’s 7 to 10

  • Mateo Martinez

Thank you to all junior golfers and parents who support us each year. Some of the junior golfers we want to acknowledge are Jauron Hall, Carrington McNeal, Fred Emmings, Carmello McNeal and Daevon Goodlow.

Thanks again to all golfers who participated in this year’s “Bronze” golf tournament. We will see you next year, because the “Bronze” is back.