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Playing for Life Foundation shoots 100 holes in one day for breast cancer research

The event lasted 13 hours and 45 minutes

Cynthia Brown chips her ball up the fairway at Promontory Ranch Club's Pete Dye Golf Course during the annual 100 Holes of Golf event in 2018. This year, it took Brown and her group nearly 14 hours to finish the 100 holes.
Tanzi Propst/Park Record

Playing 18 holes of golf in the middle of yet another blistering hot afternoon on Monday would have been a feat on its own.

But by around 3:15, golf pro Cynthia Brown and her group just finished their 72nd hole of the day. They still had another 28 to go.

“You know, it’s more mental than physical,” Brown said. “We’re playing every shot counts. You just have to keep your head in the game and don’t get frustrated and know that there’s a lot of holes left. I don’t think there’s anything hard about it, it’s just a long day and it’s hot this year.”



Brown is one of the founders of Playing for Life Foundation, a nonprofit that raises money to fight cancer. To raise money, Brown and two other players, Vaughn Robinson and Cole Carlson, played 100 holes of golf in one day at Promontory Club for the organization’s 12th annual Longest Day of Golf. Starting at sunrise, the group finished in 13 hours and 45 minutes.

Brown estimates that the organization provided 78 free mammograms for Parkites and residents of Wasatch County last year as well as raising money for ultrasounds, breast cancer research and survivor care. She also said that the foundation helped 800 people attend retreats.



“Our mission is good, it inspires us, it makes us feel weak a lot,” Brown said. “As we all say, we’re going to feel better tomorrow, the people we’re doing this for aren’t.”

For the second straight year, the foundation couldn’t hold its usual gala and silent auction to raise money due to COVID-19. Still, Brown says that Playing for Life hasn’t seen a decrease in donations.

Janis Moore is the other co-founder of Playing for Life and also served as Brown’s caddie on Monday. Her daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer in the last year and had a mastectomy and survived. Moore had other family members and friends also go through breast cancer.

“It’s just important to find a cure so women down the road do not have to go through this and suffer,” she said.

The nonprofit has become part of her life, and she knew that they had to make it through the pandemic in one piece.

“(Playing for Life is) kind of a part of my heart,” Moore said. “Every year, we have managed to do just a little bit better and have the ability to help a few more every year.”

Moore was more than happy to watch as the others endured a long day’s worth of golf in the heat.

“I have such a good time caddying and watching,” she said. “I keep thinking I’ll learn by watching, but it’s really fun because their games are so different than me, just watching their balls just sail.”

Carlson works as the head golf professional at Promontory and joined Playing for Life’s 100-hole challenge for the second consecutive year. While he doesn’t have any connection to breast cancer, cancer has still affected his family.

“My dad went through cancer a couple years ago, and he’s in remission,” Carlson said. “So, even though it’s not breast cancer, it still feels like I’m maybe playing for Dad.

“I guess one day we’re going for a cure, you know, I think that’s the eventual goal of it all. I think just cancer some way or another is going to touch somebody’s life if it already hasn’t.”

The key to finishing 100 holes for Carlson, Brown and Robinson in one day was to win the mental side of the game. As the day wore on and the heat picked up, staying hydrated and mentally fresh was vital.

“After you get to about hole 50, it just kind of becomes like you’re living in ‘Groundhog Day,’” Carlson said. “It’s like, ‘Did I just do this?’ Because you just did, but yeah, I think that’s how golf is. Golf is always more mental than it is physical, so it tests you.”

 


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