Golf legend Jack Nicklaus, Golf Channel’s Damon Hack, and PGA TOUR players, including First Tee alum Austin Smotherman and Cameron Champ, surprise teens with an invitation to the event
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (July 5, 2022) – First Tee and PGA TOUR Champions announced today the 78 First Tee participants selected to play in the 2022 PURE Insurance Championship Impacting First Tee. The event, in its 19th 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. 20-25. The annual event, hosted by the Monterey Peninsula Foundation, is televised internationally on Golf Channel.
Throughout the week, the teens apply their character strengths and the life 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 14 to 18, the First Tee participants compete for the Pro-Junior Team title. The teens represent 52 First Tee chapters from across the country and – for the second year in a row – 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 development through First Tee’s programs, as well as their playing ability.
The full junior field was revealed live on Golf Channel’s “Golf Today” with host Damon Hack surprising Diego Ocasio from First Tee – Metropolitan New York with the news of his selection. In addition, several players and legends of the game helped surprise select participants leading up to the full field announcement, including World Golf Hall of Fame Member Jack Nicklaus, PGA TOUR players Stewart Cink, Cameron Champ and Austin Smotherman, PGA TOUR Champions players Ken Duke and Larry Mize and No. 1 APGA Collegiate Player and Duke University stand-out Quinn Riley.
In addition to the surprises, Bryson Hughes of First Tee – North Florida and Francesca Sumcad of First Tee – Silicon Valley each earned exemptions this month during the First Tee National Championship.
“Congratulations to the 78 participants who have been selected to play and represent First Tee on a national stage,” said Greg McLaughlin, First Tee CEO. “This is a special year as First Tee celebrates our 25th anniversary of empowering youth and providing opportunities like the PURE Insurance Championship for participants to take their First Tee experience to the next level and explore the possibilities in golf and beyond. 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 KJ Choi, who will defend his title. 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.
“Supporting these incredible young men and women along with the great work of First Tee through this sponsorship is tremendously rewarding for our entire team,” said Katie Krum, Chief Marketing Officer at PURE Insurance. “I know firsthand the impact and value that participating in youth sports can have on one’s development, personally and professionally, so I am particularly proud to be part of an organization that lends support to 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 2022 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. In 2022, First Tee celebrates its 25th anniversary and reaching millions of youth through its network of 150 chapters, 10,000 schools and 1,700 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.
About PURE Insurance
Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange (PURE) Insurance is a property and casualty insurance company designed exclusively for successful, responsible families. We opened for business more than 15 years ago with the goal of offering something different in the insurance space: a company focused on doing what’s right for our membership (policyholders), one that promotes transparency and alignment of interests, and delivers greater value.
Today, after growing at least 15% in each year since we began, we are the most awarded insurer in our category, offer coverage in all 50 states that includes high value homeowners, automobile, collections, watercraft, personal excess liability, fraud & cyber and flood to a membership of more than 100,000 individuals and families.
Pureinsurance.com | 888.813.7873
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.