Hurley and Dawson flying the flag in Arizona
Gary Hurley and Robin Dawson in Arizona this week.

Gary Hurley and Robin Dawson in Arizona this week.

NUI Maynooth's Gary Hurley and Robin Dawson are back in the pack entering today's third and final round of the Patriot All-America Invitational in Arizona.

Hurley fired a level par 70 in the second round on the Gold Course at The Wigwam in Litchfield Park to share 27th spot on six over, nine strokes behind leader Aaron Wise of the US (70-67).

Dawson (74-74) is tied for 41st on eight over in what is a special event with invitations primarily based on individuals earning PING All-America honours the previous season.


There is a heavy military aspect to the tournament with a member from each of the United States Military Academies invited.

In cooperation with the Folds of Honor Foundation, golfers at the Patriot All-America continue the tradition of representing a fallen service member with every participant carrying a golf bag with the name and branch of service of a fallen military member they represent.

Following the tournament, the bags will be auctioned off to alumni at respective schools with all proceeds benefitting the Folds of Honor Foundation to provide post-secondary educational scholarships to the families of the military service men and women killed or disabled while in active service.

Both Dawson and Hurley are representing soldiers with deep Irish connections and those who recently saw Mark Wahlberg's recent Navy SEAL movie, Lone Survivor, will be familiar with the story of Lieutenant Michael P Murphy.

Gary Hurley - Soldier: Michael P. Murphy 

Hometown: Suffolk County, NY
Branch of Service:  NAVY
Navy Lt. (SEAL) Michael P. Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y., was killed on June 28, 2005 after exposing himself to enemy fire and knowingly leaving his position of cover to get a clear signal in order to communicate with his headquarters. He provided his unit’s location and requested immediate support for his element and then returned to his position to continue fighting until he died from his wounds. He was awarded the Medal of Honor, the U.S. Military’s highest honor, for his heroic actions. His other posthumous awards include the Silver Star Medal (which was later upgraded to the Medal of Honor), the Purple Heart and the Gen. Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award. The Navy also named a warship in his honor.
Lt. Murphy, born to Irish American parents, was raised in Suffolk County, NY. He graduated from Penn State University with honors and dual degrees in political science and psychology. After college he accepted a commission in the United States Navy and became a United States Navy SEAL in July 2002. Lt. Murphy was known to his friends as "Murph", and was known as "The Protector" in his high school years.

Robin Dawson - Soldier: Joseph H. Thompson  

Hometown: Kilkeel, County Down, Ireland
Branch of Service: ARMY
Lieutenant Colonel Joseph H. Thompson was a highly decorated World War I veteran, recipient of the Medal of Honor, lawyer, Pennsylvania state senator, head football coach of the University of Pittsburgh Panthers, and College Football Hall of Fame inductee.
Lt. Col. Thompson, born in Kilkeel, County Down, Ireland, came to the United States in 1898 at the age of 18 and entered Geneva College that year. He immediately became a basketball star and also participated in gymnastics and wrestling, but did not go out for football until 1900.
Lt. Col. Thompson entered the Army in 1917 and fought in Mexico and France during World War I where he was repeatedly wounded and became a decorated hero. In addition to the Medal of Honor, he was awarded the French Croix de Guerre, the British Medal of Honor, and the American Distinguished Service Medal. After the war, he served in the reserves corp. He practiced law in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania until his death in 1928 from ailments aggravated by war wounds.

It's been a good year all round for NUI Maynooth stars Hurley and Dawson, who will be looking to make the 2015 GB&I Walker Cup team. 

Gary has had an excellent year with an array of very consistent results at top amateur events and was recently awarded "Munster Golfer of the Year". Results in brief: T2nd at European Ind AM, 4th at Brabazon/ Lytham, T20 after two rnds at Irish open). His solid form coupled with excellent International performances for Ireland in helping them to Runner Up at European Team Championship & winning Home Internationals gave earned a spot on the GB&I St.Andrews Trophy Team. Gary has his sights set on Walker Cup 15 at Lytham and is putting in the hard yards during the pre season working with his personal coach - Fred Twomney and our team at Maynooth (Johnny Foster &  Donal Scott golf coaches, Tony O'Regan - trainer, Anne Marie Kennedy - sports psychology) 

Robin has a solid year last year considering he was sitting his leaving certificate year. He got to the L8 of Bristish Am, final of the North and  has made his debut for the Senior Men's Team last August. In 2013, he was ranked NO1 Irish U18 and won the Irish Boys (U18) Open and was the highest points scorer for GB&I V Europe in the Jacques Leglise Trophy.