Successful Inaugural RBC Wealth Management PGA HOPE Sun Country Cup Celebrates Veterans and Golf with resounding success, held on Tuesday, November 14, 2023, at Santa Ana Golf Club in Bernalillo, NM. This extraordinary event, coinciding with the PGA National Day of HOPE Campaign, demonstrated the profound impact of golf on U.S. Military Veterans.

Event Highlights:

Date: Tuesday, November 14, 2023
Location: Santa Ana Golf Club, Bernalillo, NM
Participating Programs: Ascarate GC - El Paso, TX; Four Corners - Farmington, NM; New Mexico State University GC - Las Cruces, NM; Santa Ana Pueblo - Bernalillo, NM (Albuquerque area)

This momentous day at Santa Ana Golf Club was not just about golf; it was a celebration of camaraderie, resilience, and the transformative power of the sport on the lives of our nation's heroes. The spirited participation of 40 PGA HOPE Veterans and PGA of America Golf Professionals infused the event with an atmosphere of joy and camaraderie, creating memories that extended far beyond the fairways.

The essence of the day was captured in the genuine smiles and shared triumphs of the veterans and PGA professionals alike. The RBC Wealth Management PGA HOPE Sun Country Cup was not merely a competition; it served as a poignant testament to the profound impact of golf as a rehabilitative tool. Beyond the swing of the club and the pursuit of victory, the day resonated with the underlying theme of empowerment and healing.

The two teams, each composed of four PGA HOPE Veterans and one Sun Country PGA Professional from participating programs, exemplified the inclusive and supportive spirit of the event. This unique format not only fostered teamwork but also allowed for mentorship, as experienced professionals guided and encouraged veterans on their golfing journey. The bonds forged on the course went beyond the scorecards, illustrating the shared commitment to well-being and mutual encouragement among all participants.

As the sun set over the Santa Ana Golf Club, it cast a warm glow on the collective achievements and stories of triumph from the day. The event encapsulated the holistic benefits of golf on the mental, social, physical, and emotional well-being of U.S. Military Veterans. It was a day that showcased the resilience of the human spirit, the power of community, and the unwavering support that can be found on the greens. In essence, the RBC Wealth Management PGA HOPE Sun Country Cup was a celebration of hope, healing, and the enduring spirit of those who have served our country.

Participating PGA HOPE Teams:

Teams from Ascarate Golf Course in El Paso, TX

Team 1

  • Mike Smith, PGA
  • Burrell Reliford - US Navy
  • Mark McCoy - US Army
  • Ruben Pacheco - US Army
  • Don Stepp - US Air Force

Team 2

  • Ken Little, PGA
  • Michael Mendoza - US Army
  • Arturo Yanez - US Army
  • David Gerhardt - US Army
  • Tirrell Askew - US Army & US Air Force

Teams From Four Corners in Farmington, NM

Team 1

  • Tom Yost, PGA
  • David Merritt - US Army
  • Bill Sausker - US Army
  • Jarred Santesson - US Army
  • Ralph Trotter - US Army

Team 2

  • Jerry Cappadona, PGA
  • Jerry Sims - US Air Force
  • Chris Whitney - US Air Force
  • Robert Aragon - US Navy
  • Dan Hon - US Marine Corps

Teams From New Mexico State University GC in Las Cruces, NM

Team 1

  • Jason White, PGA
  • Craig Wright - US Air Force
  • Lori Kuczmanski - US Army
  • Jason McPherson - US Army
  • Pete Loaiza - US Marine Corps

Team 2

  • TJ McMullan, PGA
  • Bruce Hall - US Navy
  • Jose Portillo - US Army
  • Luis Morales - US Marine Corps
  • Mannie Lopez - US Marine Corps & US Army National Guard

Teams From Santa Ana Pueblo in Bernalillo, NM

Team 1

  • Zach Hoefel, PGA
  • Gloria Gutierrez - Air Force
  • Steve Montoya - US Army
  • Vince Armijo - US Army
  • Mark Mahoney - US Air Force

Team 2

  • Jason Montoya, PGA
  • George Herman - US Army
  • Don Finney - US Marine Corps
  • Ron Russell - US Navy
  • Louis Sena

Notable Results:

  • Team Ascarate 2 emerged as the champions with a score of 59.
  • Four Corners and NMSU 2 secured the second position with a tie, both finishing with a score of 60.
Team Ascarate 1
Team Four Corners 1
Team NMSU 1
Team Twin Warriors 1
Team Ascarate 2
Team Four Corners 2
Team NMSU 2
Team Twin Warriors 2

PGA National Day of HOPE Campaign Success: The RBC Wealth Management PGA HOPE Sun Country Cup coincided with the PGA National Day of HOPE Campaign. This nationwide campaign involved over 350 local PGA HOPE programs, celebrating a year of activities and fundraising for future growth. The success contributes to the transformative change that golf provides to Veterans.

About The Cates Team at RBC Wealth Management: With over 100 years of combined experience, The Cates Team focuses on proper asset and portfolio allocation for long-term investment results. They prioritize clients' interests with high-quality service and actively support local nonprofit and community organizations.

Learn more at The Cates Team at RBC Wealth Management.

About the Sun Country Golf Foundation: Founded in 1999, the Sun Country Golf Foundation collaborates with the Sun Country Section of the PGA of America and the Sun Country Amateur Golf Association. Through three Pillars of Impact—Youth, Military Outreach, and Inclusion—the foundation "impacts lives through golf."

Programs include PGA Jr. League, Youth on Course, PGA HOPE, college scholarships, and growth of the game grants.

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