Golf Channel’s Damon Hack and Shane Bacon, PGA TOUR’s Ryan Palmer and Commissioner Jay Monahan surprise teens with invitation to event
PONTE VEDRA, Fla. – First Tee and PGA TOUR Champions announced today the 81 First Tee participants selected to play in the 2021 PURE Insurance Championship Impacting the First Tee. The event, in its 18th year, will bring teens from First Tee chapters to Pebble Beach Golf Links and Spyglass Hill Golf Course for the PGA TOUR Champions tournament, Sept. 20-26. The annual event, hosted by the Monterey Peninsula Foundation, is televised internationally on Golf Channel.
Throughout the week the teens apply the life and leadership skills learned from First Tee programs during the one-of-a-kind event where they are paired with a PGA TOUR Champions player and amateurs from the business world. Ranging in ages from 15 to 19, the First Tee participants compete for the Pro-Junior Team title. The teens represent 48 First Tee chapters from across the country and for the first time a participant from First Tee — Morocco will be in the field. Participants were selected by a national panel of judges based on their personal growth and life skills learned through First Tee’s programs, as well as their playing ability.
The full junior field was revealed live on Golf Channel’s “Golf Today” including a video of PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan surprising Madelyn Campbell, Matthew French and Grace Richards from First Tee — North Florida. Other surprises by PGA TOUR player Ryan Palmer, Korn Ferry Tour player Austin Smotherman and Golf Channel hosts Shane Bacon and Damon Hack had been recorded over the last month and aired today as part of the PURE Insurance Championship junior field announcement.
In addition to the surprises, Ashton Harper from First Tee — Roanoke Valley and Borina Sutikto and Sophie Thai from First Tee – Silicon Valley each earned exemptions this past June during the First Tee National Championship.
“Congratulations to the 81 participants who have been selected to play and represent First Tee on a national stage,” said Greg McLaughlin, First Tee CEO. “We are proud to welcome a participant from First Tee — Morocco into the field this year who is joining the other teens in earning this opportunity through hard work and commitment to academic and personal growth through our programs. Thank you to our partners − PURE Insurance, PGA TOUR Champions, Pebble Beach Resorts, Monterey Peninsula Foundation and Golf Channel − for their commitment to young people and helping us provide this opportunity to these deserving teens.”
This year’s field of PGA TOUR Champions players will feature World Golf Hall of Fame Members Bernhard Langer, Mark O’Meara, Vijay Singh, as well as three-time PURE Insurance Championship winners Kirk Triplett and Jeff Sluman. Clint Eastwood serves as chairman of the PURE Insurance Championship.
Play will be conducted on Pebble Beach Golf Links and Spyglass Hill Golf Course on Friday and Saturday. The final round will be contested solely at Pebble Beach Golf Links on Sunday, where 23 First Tee juniors will compete based on their 36-hole performance. The tournament will crown one male and one female First Tee Junior Champion on Sunday.
More than 1,000 teens from First Tee have played in the PURE Insurance Championship, experiencing the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet, play and be mentored by PGA TOUR Champions players and amateurs in the field.
“We are proud to be a part of this incredible event and the support it provides to the many deserving young men and women from the First Tee,” said Katie Krum, Chief Marketing Officer of the PURE Group of Insurance Companies. “My participation in sports throughout my youth helped shape so much of who I am today, personally and professionally, so it’s energizing to be part of an organization that sees this value and an event that supports such a worthy cause.”
First Tee is a youth development organization that teaches life skills and helps kids and teens build their strength of character through golf. The PURE Insurance Championship is one of several national opportunities provided by First Tee Headquarters to encourage and motivate participants as they progress through the program and toward higher education opportunities.
The junior field for 2021 PURE Insurance Championship can be viewed here.
About PGA TOUR First Tee Foundation (“First Tee”)
First Tee (www.firsttee.org) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit youth development organization that is supported by the PGA TOUR. Its mission is to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character and instill life-enhancing values through the game of golf. Since its inception in 1997, First Tee has expanded to reach more than 3.6 million young people annually through its chapter network, in schools and at youth centers. Headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, USA, programs are delivered in all 50 United States and select international locations. President George W. Bush serves as Honorary Chair.
About Monterey Peninsula Foundation
Monterey Peninsula Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization which donates funds from the proceeds of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am on the PGA TOUR and the PURE Insurance Championship Impacting the First Tee, a PGA TOUR Champions tournament. The Foundation focuses on improving the quality of life in Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Benito counties. www.attpbgolf.com and www.pureinsurancechampionship.com
Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange (PURE) is a member-owned reciprocal insurer dedicated to creating an exceptional experience for responsible high net worth individuals and families. PURE provides customizable coverage for high-value homes, automobiles, jewelry, art, personal liability, watercraft, flood, fraud and cyber fraud to more than 75,000 responsible, high net worth families throughout the U.S. Inspired by some of the finest policyholder-owned companies, PURE emphasizes alignment of interests and transparency. PURE’s low cost of capital, careful member selection and proactive risk management all contribute to highly competitive rates. In return for a fee, PURE Risk Management, LLC acts as Attorney-in-Fact for PURE. PURE membership is subject to an executed Subscriber’s Agreement & Power of Attorney. For more information or to find a local broker, visit pureinsurance.com. You can follow PURE on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
About PGA TOUR Champions
PGA TOUR Champions is a membership organization of professional golfers age 50 and older, including 34 members of the World Golf Hall of Fame. The Tour’s mission is to provide financial opportunities for its players, entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back and generate significant charitable and economic impact in tournament communities. Follow PGA TOUR Champions online at PGATOUR.com, at facebook.com/PGATOURChampions, on Twitter @ChampionsTour and on Instagram @pgatourchampions.
All events are televised in the United States, with most receiving complete coverage on Golf Channel, the exclusive cable-television partner of PGA TOUR Champions. Tournament programming is available via 25+ TV linear partners in 145+ countries and territories, with 25 channels carrying long-form and/or highlights coverage, and 200+ hours of live coverage distributed in 135+ countries and territories. Programming is also available via the OTT platform GOLFTV powered by PGA TOUR in every market outside of the United States, excluding China and Korea, with live coverage distributed in 130+ countries and territories.
Sara Henika, First Tee