Judy McDermott, Executive Director Tucson Conquistadores Inc.

Judy McDermottCollege Golf: UCLA
Hole in One: Los Coyotes Country Club, Buena Park, CA.
12 years old. 154 yard, Par-3 –3 iron

Share with us a brief history of the Tucson Conquistadores.
The late Roy P. Drachman was the founding father of the Tucson Conquistadores. The top Tucson businessmen formed the original Conquistadores to support a need in the community, that of “extra-curricular” support of deserving athletes as well as other community sporting events.

In 1966, the Conquistadores adopted the Tucson Open golf tournament. The high-powered group turned the fledging PGA TOUR event into an exciting professional sporting and community event which continued through 2006. Over $ 20 million has been raised for charity though the success of PGA TOUR golf in Tucson.

How were the Conquistadores involved in bringing the World Golf Championships – Accenture Match Play Championship to Southern Arizona?
The Tucson Conquistadores recognized the opportunity to enhance Tucson and Southern Arizona’s notability as a premier golf destination with the addition of the World Golf Championships – Accenture Match Play Championship. They serve as the tournament leadership team and sales arm for the tournament. The tournament was launched in February 2007 and is scheduled to continue each February in Tucson through 2010 contractually. Plans are underway to extend the agreement through 2014.

Proceeds from ticket sales help support youth athletics in Southern Arizona, what types of projects and groups are you funding?
Since beginning our sponsorship in 1966 the Conquistadores have donated over $20 million to various youth sporting activities. In 2008, the Tucson Conquistadores donated 1.4 million dollars for such projects as the construction of a new gymnasium for the Ott Family YMCA, equipment for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Tucson, operating funds for the Special Olympics of Pima County and numerous other youth sporting organizations.

Tell us about The First Tee of Tucson Program.
The First Tee Program of Tucson began in August 2006. An initiative of the World Golf Foundation, its mission is to impact the lives of young people by providing learning facilities and educational programs that promote character-development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf. Our goal is to provide the golf learning facilities and the experience that will enable kids from every walk of life to partake in a game that teaches values for life, and which can be played for a lifetime. The home of the First Tee of Tucson is at the city of Tucson’s Trini Alvarez-El Rio Golf Course. The Tucson Conquistadores just completed a new learning center which will enable the program to serve even more kids.

What does the future hold for the Tucson Conquistadores?
We’ll continue to be a major funding source for area youth sports programs because we believe in the positive difference sports make for all kids. We don’t want anyone to be turned away from participating in a sporting program because they can’t afford it. Through the Tucson Conquistadores and our Foundation we’ll continue to serve that mission in the coming years.

 

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