The 2016 death of Copperas Cove Police Chief Tim Molnes left a big hole in the hearts of his friends and colleagues — one that they’ve tried to fill partially through the annual golf tournament that bears his name.
“We were thinking of things we could do to keep his legacy going,” Copperas Cove Police Chief Eddie Wilson said Saturday before the third annual tournament at the Hills of Cove Golf Course in Copperas Cove. “One of the things we knew he loved to do was play golf. (He also) loved the community, particularly the youth.
“This was a great way to put those two things together.”
Fifteen teams signed up for the tournament, a four-man scramble where each member of team tees off on a hole. The best tee shot is selected, and then each member of the team hits their next shot from that location. Play continues in that manner until the hole is finished and the team records its score.
The registration fee was $100 per player. With their entry, each player received a Bridgestone gap wedge for their golf bag, as well as breakfast and lunch. Raffle tickets were also available for a variety of prizes donated for the tournament. Part of the entry fee and all of the raffle ticket proceeds will go toward the scholarship fund.
“This past year we gave away seven $1,000 scholarships, and the year prior we gave away four $1,000 and two $500 scholarships,” Wilson said.
The chief laughed when asked about his skills as a golfer. “If you had to rank me between 1 and 10, I’m a solid 5,” Wilson said. “We do this because it’s fun. We just enjoy getting out here, the fellowship and the interaction with the community. It’s just a great time.”
Golfer Jee Young Shim agreed with the chief’s philosophy. Shim joined three of her friends a team for the tournament.
“We play every Thursday,” Shim said of her team’s weekly golf date at Stonetree Golf Club in Killeen. “I love golf. I’ve been playing about 10 years. I’m so glad to learn golf from my husband, (because) we are getting older. So me and my husband can play together.”
A newcomer this year was Eric Armstrong, the president of National United bank in Copperas Cove.
“I’m a hack,” Armstrong said laughing when asked about his skill level. “I enjoy it (but) I’m no good at it. I’ve played for 30 years without significant improvement.”
But Armstrong said he was happy to be playing to support both the police and the memory of Chief Molnes.
The teams gathered outside the Hills of Cove clubhouse just before the tournament’s scheduled start time of 8 a.m. Chief Wilson thanked the golfers for being part of the fundraiser, then turned things over to Copperas Cove Mayor Bradi Diaz, who had some good advice.
“I want to say good luck to everyone, and hit ’em straight,” she said to applause and laughter.
By the time the golfers started arriving back at the clubhouse, most had been on the course more than four hours. Jose Cazarez was one of the first to finish and he was very happy with his round.
“It was absolutely phenomenal,” Cazarez said as he cooled off inside the clubhouse. “Get some people that have never played together, all of a sudden you have some good chemistry, things start happening.”
The total amount of money raised by the tournament was not available on Saturday.