Tournament honors slain golfer’s memory
Four months after the killings of Dale Guthrie and Susan Gulla-O’Leary as they stood in their front yard in the Lake Travis area, Guthrie’s family is coming together to raise scholarship money and commemorate his memory by way of his foremost passion — golf.
It’s still hard for Tammy Parnell to talk about her brother, Dale, who was six years older and often was her protector growing up. Police say Guthrie and Gulla-O’Leary, who lived in the Lake Travis area for more than a decade, were shot by Lakeway resident Randall Burrows, a man they’d hired to do some maintenance work at their home. Officials say Burrows killed himself days later after a standoff with police in Mississippi.
Guthrie’s death has rocked the family and everyone who knew the couple. Guthrie had four children.
“He was very charismatic,” Parnell said. “He had the biggest, most engaging smile there ever was.”
Parnell’s husband, Jeff, came up with a way to honor Guthrie — a golf tournament that would raise money for a scholarship for a high school golfer, one who makes good grades. The Dale Guthrie Memorial Golf Tournament will be Sunday at the Falconhead Golf Course in Bee Cave, where Guthrie was a member for years.
“We’ve got a lot of kids involved in this tragic situation we’re in,” Jeff Parnell said. “We needed to do something that brought our family together as a way to heal . ... We could have written a big check and funded the scholarship, but that’s not what it’s about. It’s about the labor of love of putting this together.”
Guthrie’s parents did, in fact, pay for a scholarship for a high school golfer at the close of the last school year. The Dale Guthrie Memorial Golf Tournament will raise money for next year’s scholarship — maybe several, Tammy Parnell said.
When she talks about the planning process for the tournament, she lights up with excitement.
“I think he would feel so absolutely honored that this is taking place for him,” Tammy Parnell said. “And to have his legacy remembered through golf — I feel him smiling on me.”
The family started organizing the event about three months ago, and they have auction items, donations and people signing up for tournament teams. Guthrie came to know many golfers, some of whom will be attending the event along with his immediate and extended family. Guthrie also passed his love of golf on to his now 15-yearold son Carson.
“(Guthrie) was a very highly skilled amateur,” said golfer Dylan Davis. “He had an intimate knowledge of the golf swing and the game of golf that was uncommon. So you can tell that his son, Carson, has the same intangible grasp of the golf swing. It’s neat to see that trait inherited in Carson.”
Dale’s younger brother, Greg Guthrie, is also helping to organize the event.
“It’s something (Dale) would love to be involved in,” Greg Guthrie said of the tournament.
“Anything to help the kids and get them into sports. He always felt that golf was such a good way to keep kids out of trouble . ... We’re trying to do something positive out of this, to keep his memory around.”