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HAVERHILL, Massachusetts – It’s now safe to say that a dynasty has been created.
For the sixth time in event history, John Mulcahy (Hatherly CC) and Mary Mulcahy (Hatherly CC) walked away with the winner’s trophy at the Massachusetts Father & Daughter Championship. Their most recent title came on Mondy at Renaissance Golf Club where the Scituate duo posted a score of 2-over par 74 to capture the Championship Division title.
It marks their sixth title dating back to 2010 and the first time that they have played in the event since 2015 after having to take a two-year break while Mary attended graduate school in Florida.
“Mary even paid the entry fee this year which is even better,” said John. “We hadn’t even really talked about it. I saw the date, but she had just started a new job, so I wasn’t sure if she would be able to get the day off. On Father’s Day we went out to dinner. She told me that she had paid the entry fee, and that we were playing in the tournament. I was really happy to play in it and have been looking forward to it all summer long.”
The wait was well worth it in the end. Since 2010, the duo has won the Junior Division (2010, 2011), the Senior Division (2012, 2013) and the Championship Division (2014, 2018).
“It’s too bad because I wish that I had the same outlook now than I did when I was younger,” said Mary. “Now I sit behind a desk all day, so when I am out playing golf it’s fun. If I hit a bad shot, it’s not the end of the world. In that sense, it has helped me. It’s just nice to come out and play golf and see the younger girls and see them play. It’s just fun to have a chance to play in a tournament with my dad.”
Dating back to 2010, the Mulcahey’s have competed on seven different courses and played under three different formats but they still continue to find a way to win.
“It is usually Mary carries me around, but today I played a little bit better,” said John. “She hasn’t been playing as much lately, but I played a little better today. She still carried me around, but at least I helped a little bit.”
On this day, the duo battled a challenging Renaissance course and one of the strongest fields in recent memory. They finished just one stroke ahead of the team of Gene Gonzalez (Charles River CC) and Jacqueline Gonzalez (Charles River CC), who finished at 3-over par 73.
“We play pretty good together,” said Mary. “I hit it pretty far, and then my dad puts it onto the green. Sometimes we get lucky and make putts. Sometimes I blow the putts by and my dad will make the come-back putts.”
On Monday, it was a strong start which proved to be a key in what was a tightly-contested Championship Division battle that saw the top five teams separated by just four strokes.
After making par on their first two holes, John converted on a birdie putt on the 495-yard, par 5 3rd hole and then watched his four-foot birdie attempt on the very next hole just miss.
“These greens were really tough to read,” said Mary, a former golf team member at the University of Central Florida. “I think that the only time that we were really certain about where the putt was going was 18. A lot of time we would look at the putt and think that it was going a certain way and then it would go the opposite way, so we had a tough time getting a good read.”
Despite any indecision on the greens, the Mulcahy team made the turn at even par 36 and then carded birdie on the 10th hole to go 1-under par for the day. The red number was short lived as they would make bogey on the very next hole.
“We were up and down all day,” said John. “We would make a birdie, and then we would make a bogey but we were pretty steady.”
The roller-coaster ride continued down the stretch. They made bogey on the 11th and 13th holes and then what proved to be their third and final birdie of the day on the 14th hole. Two holes later – still at even par – the Mulcahey team ran into trouble on the 162-yard, par 3 17th hole which they felt at the time might have cost them a title.
“We thought that we had blown it on 17 when we four putted from about 20 feet at the most,” said John, a former golf captain at St. Leo University in Florida. “I was afraid of running it by, so I left it about three or four feet short and then she hit her putt three or four feet by and then I missed it. I was just hoping that it didn’t come back to hurt us.”
Thinking that they needed to make birdie on the par-5 final hole, John knocked his second shot to 90 yards short of the green. Mary was able to send her approach to seven feet to give them a chance.
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“Mary got me in there really close to about seven feet and I missed it,” recalled John. “I really thought that I had to make that, but as it turned out it didn’t matter.”
Unbeknownst to them at the time, the ones closest to them – the Gonzalez team – suffered a similar tough finish on the Renaissance back nine (they made bogey on the 15th and 18th holes).
“I was a little nervous out there,” said John “It’s kind of nerve wracking playing with your daughter thinking that you are going to let her down and hit a bad shot. I played in a tournament this past weekend, and if I hit a bad shot I didn’t care. This is a totally different thing because I feel like I let my daughter down.”
On Monday, there was no let down. There were only smiles of joy knowing that history had been made by two people just happy to be playing golf together.
“It’s something that I look forward to more than anything,” said John.