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, FL. (July 6, 2021) – 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.