It had been eight months since Marlene Riley stepped onto the Del Webb putting greens.
So on the morning of the second annual putting tournament honoring her late husband she grabbed her flat stick, said a little prayer, and headed out to meet up with some friends before they got the event rolling.
She had no idea that she’d win the event for the second year in a row.
“It was an amazing surprise. I said a little prayer – ‘Honey, I haven’t been on the greens for eight or nine months and I have hope in winning this, but please be with me today,’” Riley said. “It was, and still is, very moving to be a part of something like this.”
Riley took the top prize with partner Lynn Heagney by putting together a combined score of 95. Paul Miller and Gary Breshears took the top spot for the men.
The event itself – named the Peter J. Riley Putting Tournament – was thought up by a family friend not long after Riley passed away from cancer in April of last year.
“We were at my husband’s rosary, and Mike Woodlake stood up and announced that he and three of my husband’s other golfing buddies were planning on doing something in his memory,” she said. “It was a very moving and emotional time. It’s an event that keeps his memory alive in our community out here at Del Webb and that really touches my heart.
“He was so well loved by everybody, and for him to make those close contacts in only two-and-a-half years – to make a difference in their lives – is very special. Now they’re making a difference in our lives, and I’m very grateful for that.”
Local businesses like Steve’s Mobile Screens, Delicato, and the Manteca Park Golf Course all donated items for the fundraiser raffle. Del Webb residents also put together gift baskets that were raffled off to raise money for the American Cancer Society. The donation was made in Peter Riley’s name.
While there wasn’t quite as much raised as last year, Riley said she’s happy to live in a community that supports events like this and with people that are caring enough to help put something like this together.
“It’s a great event for our family to come out to and remember Pete,” she said. “My daughter took pictures the first year and put them up on a board with his picture. It really does keep his memory alive.”