Robins Mayor Ian G.S. Cullis will try to defend his short game title during the “2nd Annual Mayoral Putting Contest” at the Greater Cedar Rapids Open Pro/Am on Thursday, July 26, at Hunters Ridge Golf Course.
Cullis and Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett, Fairfax Mayor Bill Voss, Marion Mayor Allen “Snooks” Bouska and Hiawatha Water Superintendent Carl Ransford will test their nerves on the practice green in the 12 p.m. contest. The winner will take home a traveling trophy.
“The putting contest is a lot of fun and it’s a great opportunity for the area mayors to come together for a good cause,” said Cullis, a South America native who took up golf when rugby and cricket became too physically demanding. “This golf tournament is an amazing event and it attracts top-notch talent.”
Last year, Cullis played in the Pro/Am event with golf professional Tony Verna of Orinda, Calif. Verna walked the course alongside those with whom he was playing, carried his clubs and shot 5-under-par during one of the hottest weeks of the year.
“We were riding in carts and we were hot so I’m not sure how he made it 18 holes,” said Cullis, laughing. “I’ve never played with a young golf professional and it was very humbling to play with someone who hit the ball that well.”
The GCRO, established in 1999, provides a showcase for aspiring professional golfers from around the world while also benefiting area non-profit organizations. Through 2011, the tournament has given back more than $100,000 to organizations, including Camp Courageous and The Salvation Army, throughout the Cedar Rapids / Iowa City Corridor.
Earlier this year, the GCRO extended its mission statement and committed to raising awareness about the prevention of melanoma – the most dangerous type of skin cancer. A portion of the funds raised through the annual tournament will now be directed to The University of Iowa Foundation to benefit melanoma research at the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center.
For information about the tournament, visit www.gcropen.com or call Co-Founder Jim McPartland at 319-310-5745. If you would like to volunteer at this year’s tournament, call Melissa Ewing at 563-209-2694 or send an email to email@example.com.