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Earlier this week, on Wednesday May 14th, as part of the opening activities of the DR Open in Casa de Campo, famous golf course architect Pete Dye, as well as the Casa de Campo resort were exalted in the Dominican Golf Hall of Fame.
Following the first round of golf of the DR Open, the ProAm golf tournament, played on the Teeth of the Dog, the over 144 professional golfers came together with the amateurs who had competed in the ProAm, for the welcome gala of the prestigious golf tournament – the 7th stop of the NEC Series – PGA Tour Latinoamérica, and the first time the Casa de Campo resort has hosted a professional golf tournament.
The gathering, celebrated at the Casa de Campo Cacique conference centre opened with the inductions into the Dominican Golf Hall of Fame. Juan Cohen, president of FEDOGOLF (the Dominican Golf Federation) led the ceremony. “This is a very special night,” said Cohen, “tonight we are recognising Casa de Campo for everything that she is, and for what she has meant for the development of golf in the Dominican Republic. And we are honoring 4 men who have elevated the status of Dominican golf, 4 men, our inductees, who all have one thing in common – they are all fine gentlemen.”
One by one, the 4 new members of the Dominican Golf Hall of Fame; Máximo A. Pellerano represented by Miguel Barbero; Pete Dye represented by his daughter-in-law Jean Dye; Marco Midence “Moñoño” represented by his father Luis Midence; and Don César Rivera, were then officially inducted, receiving a pin and a plaque in their honor.
Upon receiving the award, each inductee or their representative had a few words to say to the audience.
Receiving the award on behalf of Maximo A. Pellerano, was Miguel Barbero, who said, “It is with joy that I receive this act of recognition on behalf of the family of Don Maximo Pellerano, I am very grateful to the Dominican Federation of Golf, for honoring Don Máximo.” Máximo A. Pellerano was a great promoter of golf, a member of the Dominican Association of Golf and a driving force behind the construction of the the national golf course, Las Lagunas.
Born right here in La Romana, in the Central Romana hospital, Don Cesar Rivera, was moved to tears to receive the award in a place so dear to his heart. “I have always been one for the rules, I was a bad player, so I decided to devote myself to the rules. For me it is an honor to be inducted here where I was born,” he. First president of the Puerto Rican Association of Golf, then one of the founders of the Caribbean Association of Golf, as well as a “Juez de Reglas” (rules judge), in recent years, Don Cesar Rivera has dedicated himself to the DR Open.
Meanwhile we were all touched by the simple yet emotive speech given by Luis Midence the father of Marco Midence “Moñoño”. “We are very grateful for this honor for our son, he is no longer with us, except in our dreams and our wishes. Moñoño would have very much enjoyed this evening, although he probably would have preferred to be in the audience applauding another great golfer. An honor like this is forever, I thank you with all my heart.” Marco Midence “Moñoño”, as one of the Dominican Republic’s top golfers, represented the country on numerous occasions in international golf tournaments.
Last, but not least, Jean Dye accepted the honor on behalf of her father-in-law Pete Dye, the designer of the Teeth of the Dog, as well as more than 100 golf courses worldwide. Speaking on behalf of Jean and Pete Dye, Gilles Gagñon, Casa de Campo director of golf was welcomed to the stage and paraphrasing Pete’s own words, said “I am honored to be part of the Hall of Fame of the Dominican Republic, I am also honored to be with these 3 gentlemen and to be part of the class of 2014. I love the Dominican Republic, I love the Dominican people, and building the Teeth of the Dog and Links was the best time of my life. I am honored that the DR Open is being played on the Teeth of the Dog.”
To close the induction ceremony, Peter Bonell, chief marketing officer received the recognition on behalf of the Casa de Campo resort, and with the construction of the Teeth of the Dog in 1971, today one of the world’s top golf courses, there can be no doubt of the contribution that Casa de Campo has made to Dominican golf. Mr. Bonell, a keen golfer himself, who had competed in the DR Open ProAm earlier in the day, took the opportunity to welcome the professional golfers, while also stating his decision to host the DR Open on the Teeth of the Dog, “if its prestigious and it’s the best, we want it here at Casa de Campo.”
Casa de Campo honored in the Dominican Golf Hall of Fame
Before the evening came to a close the winners of the DR Open ProAm were announced and received their trophies. The winning team was the golfers representing the Central Romana Corporation; Juan Velásquez, Julio Zeller and Carlixto Gabriel playing with professional golfer Nelson Ledesma from Argentina. Coming in second was the team of Brad Hopfinger from the US, playing with Fernando Villanueva, Juan Oller and Amilcar Kalaf, and the team of Lucho Dodda from Argentina playing with Pepe Oliva, Michael Espino and Robert Guerra came in third.
DR Open ProAm champions: Carlixto Gabriel, Juan Velasquez, Julio Zeller
Today, Sunday May 18th marks the final day of the DR Open in Casa de Campo, with the 55 finalists teeting off around the Teeth of the Dog from 7am. These 55 finalists will each win part of the US$150,000 prize money, while the overall winner of the DR Open in Casa de Campo will take home a grand total of US$25,000. Immediately following the final championship round being played this morning, the prize-giving ceremony will be held at the Teeth of the Dog. Remember you are all cordially invited to come and watch the DR Open in Casa de Campo, see below for details.
The following collection of photos were taken during the opening gala of the DR Open in Casa de Campo at the Casa de Campo Cacique conference centre:
DR Open golf tournament: Event Schedule
Monday May 12th
9am: Qualifying round for unranked players on the Teeth of the Dog
Tuesday May 13th
7:30am – 5pm: Practice rounds on the Teeth of the Dog
Wednesday May 14th
9am: ProAm tournament on the Teeth of the Dog
2pm: Practice rounds on the Teeth of the Dog
7pm: Welcome dinner and inductions into the Dominican Golf Hall of Fame
Thursday May 15th
7am: First tournament round on the Teeth of the Dog
Friday May 16th
7am: Second tournament round on the Teeth of the Dog
Saturday May 17th
7am: Third tournament round on the Teeth of the Dog
Sunday May 18th
7am: Final tournament round on the Teeth of the Dog, followed by the prize-giving
How to enjoy the DR Open in Casa de Campo
Casa de Campo villa owners
All Casa de Campo villa owners and residents are welcome to come and watch any or all of the tournament rounds of the DR Open in Casa de Campo. Throughout the contest, volunteers will be on the Teeth of the Dog directing and helping people who wish to watch. Instructions and rules from the PGA will be enforced. A few key rules to be aware of:
- Golf carts will not be allowed on the Teeth of the Dog throughout the DR Open. In this type of event it is customary for spectators to walk around the course. However, for those who prefer not to walk the entire 18 holes, there will be designated golf cart parking areas near the entrance to many holes, so that you can drive along the road and then walk onto the course.
- Spectators may not approach the professional players for autographs or photographs during a round.
- All telephones must be on silent.
- Visitors not staying within the Casa de Campo resort, will be able to gain access by showing a valid photo ID.
- These guests will then park at the Casa de Campo polo fields, from where they will be transported to the Teeth of the Dog golf course.
- Once at the Teeth of the Dog golf course, guests are invited to walk around the course and enjoy the contest.
If you have any questions about enjoying the DR Open golf tournament in Casa de Campo, please contact: (809) 523 8115