The 12th annual Maryb S. Kauth Invitational, a D-1 women’s golf tournament hosted by The University of Texas at San Antonio and the UTSA women’s golf team, will take place on March 9th and 10th at the San Antonio Country Club. Named in memory of his late mother, Intercontinental CEO John Kauth has once again sponsored the event to honor his mother, give back to the community and to student athletes, and support women’s golf programs – as well as share his love of golf.
“The background of this event goes back about 12 years,” says John. “A small group of friends and local business leaders – Cindy Jorgensen, Mike Birnbaum, Tom Relf, Clay Jett, Randy Cain, Jim Callaway, Stanley Blend, Bruce Hendin, and myself, to name a few – got together and decided we wanted to help the UTSA golf programs. At that time, they had no home course, hosted no tournaments, had a small budget, and their program simply was not really going anywhere. We all love golf, wanted to mentor young people, and think UTSA is really important to the future and the growth of San Antonio. Thus, we formed the UTSA24 with our 24 members and decided that we wanted all of our donations to go to directly to the players, both men and women. No annual dinners, no committee meetings – just promoting and supporting golf and the young golfers.”
“Each year, each member is assigned a player to mentor, and it is up to each member to decide how much time they want to commit. We all realize that to play D-1 golf, one has to understand what is to work hard. To be that good, you have to have spent hundreds of hours working to get better and learning how to both win and lose. These are attributes that are shared with all successful people, and therefore we think we are helping the next generation of leaders. I am happy to report that a number of us have really enjoyed getting to know and help the student athletes, and a whole bunch of them have gotten jobs as a result of the involvement of the UTSA24. Even after 12 years, the vast majority of the original 24 members remain committed and involved.”
To date, the UTSA24 has donated more than $400,000 to the UTSA golf programs and has helped bring UTSA golf to top level NCAA competitions. Over the course of the 12 years, UTSA golf programs have won a number of tournaments, are nationally ranked, and now call the TPC San Antonio their home course. Equally important to UTSA24 is that every year, both the men’s and women’s teams have had extremely high graduation rates and top tier GPAs.
After witnessing the success of UTSA24, John and his wife Melissa decided to take their support even further and began sponsoring the annual tournament that is now known as the Maryb S. Kauth Invitational. Since sponsoring the tournament, the Kauths have continued their philanthropy at UTSA by pledging the largest gift in UTSA athletics history: $3 million to support women’s golf programs. The estate gift has provided scholarships to deserving female athletes and other financially challenged students and has continued to fund the Maryb S. Kauth Invitational.
“On a personal note, I moved to San Antonio a week after graduating from Texas A&M,” says John (wife, Melissa, is a UTSA alum). “I didn’t know a single person and everything I owned was in the trunk of my car. The city has been very good to me and Melissa. We were helped and mentored, and now feel that it is our time give back. Sponsoring a tournament in memory of my mother was a no brainer – she loved golf and helping people. The tournament has been a huge hit – UTSA won the tournament last year in 2020 and also in 2011, so many storied women’s programs have participated, and many of the contestants now play on the LPGA. My wife found a picture of my mother and Jack Nicklaus (see photo above), which was made into a plaque, and I have the winning team sign a new one each year – I’m happy to say that I’m running out of space!”
The 2021 Maryb S. Kauth Invitational will see the UTSA women’s team compete alongside teams from Texas Tech, Texas State, North Texas, SMU, Houston Baptist, Old Dominion, and UIW. Although fans will not be allowed on the course for this year's tournament due to COVID-19 protocols, fans and other interested parties can follow along with the live scoring here.