When numerous individuals went on to participate in this year’s championship flight for the annual Minne Monesse Golf Club Tournament in Grant Park from Sept. 25-26, little did they know the results would turn into a family affair.
The Dulin family — Ryan, Brad, Rich and Hollie — wound up dominating the event by securing the top three spots in the men’s division as well as securing the women’s individual championship, giving the Dulin family a clean sweep in dominating fashion.
“It’s crazy to me, and I guess you could say it was a Dulin takeover,” Ryan, the men’s winner, said. “Winning felt really nice because now all three Dulin boys have won a club championship, and then my sister has now won for the second time in three years. It’s awesome to see.”
The two-day tournament for the Dulin family brought out their competitive side on the links, especially given the fact it was Ryan’s first year of eligibility for the tournament.
The freshman at Illinois Valley Community College noted the tournament is something he’s been dying to play ever since his family would let him tag along when he was a child.
“I used to watch my family compete in this tournament every year, and I always wished I could play,” Ryan said. “This year, I was finally able to, and I treated it as any other tournament, except for the fact I was playing against my dad and brother.”
Ryan shot a 69 on Day 1 and a 76 on Day 2 to card plus-1 over par for the tournament, which was a combined 10 strokes better than his brother, Brad, who finished in second place. Ryan credited his drives being a key component to getting the victory.
“Us Dulins are really competitive, and that really came out during this year’s tournament, playing against each other,” Ryan said. “I wish I could play against them all the time because I seem to play better.”
Despite being an overly competitive family at times, the Dulins seemed to keep it professional once they got on the course.
“Off the course, there’s a lot of trash talk going on, but on the course, we are pretty good about being business-like and letting our scores do the talking,” Brad said.
Brad, who was the 2020 champion, couldn’t help but mention he wasn’t truly ready to pass the torch to Ryan, especially given how close of a race it was heading into Day 2. Brad was down six strokes to Ryan, so he thought there was still a slight chance he could overtake him, given his experience in the tournament.
“With it being Ryan’s first time and the pressure that comes with leading after Day 1, I thought I could catch him, but he continued to play well, which is why he ended up beating me,” Brad said.
Rounding out the Dulins in the men’s division was Ryan’s and Brad’s father, Rich Dulin, who wound up finishing behind his two sons with a third-place finish after having shot an 80 and a 76.
“Taking third overall to my two sons was a pleasure,” Rich said. “It was a win-win situation for me. Not to mention I got to see my daughter win, too.”
Rich has been golfing in this tournament since 1983 and since has gone on to win the tournament a dozen times during his career. However, despite not walking away as this year’s champion, the avid golfer was just happy to spend another evening on the links with his entire family.
“My favorite part of the tournament was the fact my entire family was there,” Rich said. “... It was a great tournament with all my kids and grandchildren being there, and so I just loved it.”
As for Hollie, this year’s women’s division champion, her win couldn’t have come at a better time, given she had recently given birth to her son. She’s been competing in the tournament for the past three years, with two of them resulting in victories, including this year.
“This year was really different from the past years because I actually gave birth to my son right at the beginning of the golf season,” Hollie said. “So, it put me out for the start of the golf season, and so my expectations were different. ... Honestly, this year challenged my will to play ... but this win secured it for me in that it’s worth it to keep playing.”
Hollie’s credit for coming up victorious despite not getting as much practice as she would have liked was all because of her familiar experience playing at the course she grew up on. So being that she and her entire family completely dominated the event, it’s something she always will be able to look back on and smile about.
“Of course it puts a smile on my face every time I think about it,” Hollie said. “My kids got to watch their mom, uncles and their grandpa do something that I hope one day they can do themselves.”
With Ryan and Hollie winning this year’s event, it gives the Dulin family a combined 22 championship victories in the tournament during the past 38 years.
“Our performance this year was dedicated to our former caddy, Johnny Loitz, who passed away this past year,” Brad said. “He was my dad’s caddy for the past decade, and he was a very loved member of the Dulins.”