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Cedar Crest Event to Feature Top Black Collegiates

South Dallas will be in the spotlight this fall, when the area will welcome a new televised amateur golf tournament featuring the nation’s top Black college players.

The I AM a Golfer Foundation (IAMGF), a local nonprofit with support from Dallas-based Southwest Airlines, has announced the creation of The Southwest Airlines Showcase at Cedar Crest, which will be an addition to the Golf Channel’s current lineup of live televised college golf tournaments. The event will also include development opportunities for participants and young people in the community.

The top 21 male and 21 female Black collegiate golfers in the country will compete in 54-hole stroke play competitions in their respective divisions. The inaugural, three-day tournament will be held at historic Cedar Crest Golf Course from Nov. 13-15, 2023, with a second event scheduled for 2024. As part of its annual coverage of college golf throughout the fall and spring, the Golf Channel will televise all three rounds live with an encore presentation of each round in the evening, totaling six telecasts and 18 hours of programming.

“We are delighted to announce this new event that provides opportunity for these talented collegiate golfers to showcase their talents on national television, exposure that is generally limited to players on a handful of Division-I teams,” said Dave Ridley, Co-Founder and Chairman of IAMGF. “This event will highlight the history of Cedar Crest and the impact the Foundation is making on the lives of young people through our varied programs at the course and within the Dallas community.”

Founded in 1919, Cedar Crest was designed by famed golf course architect A.W. Tillinghast. Among other significant national tournaments, Cedar Crest hosted the 1927 PGA Championship won by Walter Hagen and the 1954 UGA National Negro Open won by Charlie Sifford, the third of his six overall titles in the event. Tillinghast, Hagen, and Sifford are all members of the World Golf Hall of Fame.

“Cedar Crest Golf Course is a special place with a rich history,” said Ira Molayo, longtime Director of Golf at Cedar Crest and Co-Founder and Vice Chairman of IAMGF. “Our Foundation’s mission is to help this ‘hidden gem’ be a catalyst for community transformation in the Cedar Crest neighborhood and surrounding communities.”

Since its inception in 2018, IAMGF has engaged more than 450 area youth in instructional programming, created and hosted 71 paid internship positions for area students, and awarded more than $95,000 in college and higher education scholarships.

“Showing up for people in the markets we serve – including our hometown of Dallas – is at the heart of who we are,” said Ryan Green, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at Southwest Airlines. “The contributions made by IAMGF align with our commitment to Dallas and support our mission to be a part of the surrounding communities.”

In addition to its youth programs, IAMGF founded the Dallas Amateur Championship in 2018 for DFW-area competitive golfers and as a fundraiser for the Foundation. More than 600 participants compete annually.

A Saturday evening gala dinner with a keynote speaker and a Sunday morning 18-hole Collegiate-Am event will precede the official start of tournament, which runs Monday to Wednesday.

During the morning of each day’s competition, the schedule allows for conferences, seminars, and job fairs, not only for the participants in the event but also for area youth.

The final field of contestants for the first-ever Southwest Airlines Showcase is scheduled to be announced in late June or early July, after the completion of the college golf season and championships.

To learn more about the I AM a Golfer Foundation, click here. To learn more about Cedar Crest Golf Course, click here.