First Tee Open Field Continues to Be a Work in Progress
September 11, 2014
The professional field for the upcoming Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach, to be held Sept, 26-28 at Poppy Hills Golf Course and Pebble Beach, continues to be a work in progress.
Recently, officials from the Monterey Peninsula Foundation, the group that runs the tournament, announced that three former Ryder Cup captains—Tom Lehman (2006), Davis Love III (2008) and Ben Crenshaw (1999) had confirmed their appearances.
On Wednesday, Monterey Peninsula Foundation CEO Steve John said that Bernhard Langer (as of now) will not be competing in the tournament, which features 81 Champions Tour members competing side-by-side with 81 members of The First Tee.
Fred Couples was a “maybe”, and actor/funnyman Bill Murray, who has played in the tournament in the past, was also a “no.’
When he has competed in the First Tee Open, Murray has had the winning touch.
Murray was Scott Simpson’s amateur partner in 2006 when Simpson won, and at least for one of the first two rounds was Jeff Sluman’s amateur partner when Sluman won in 2008 and 2009.
Play during both the first and second rounds will be split between Poppy Hills and Pebble Beach, with Sunday’s final round being held at Pebble Beach. As a gift back to the community, Monterey Peninsula Foundation and Nature Valley are providing free tournament admission.
Players have until the Friday before tournament week (Sept. 19) to confirm their appearances.
Defending champion Kirk Triplett will be going for a First Tee Open first—three wins in a row. Jeff Sluman, who’s the only player to win the championship three times, won back-to-back titles in 2008-2009.
Triplett recently stopped by the new Poppy Hills, and gave his take on the rejuvenated layout.
“I think all players are going to enjoy playing here more than they used to,” said the 52-year-old. “It’s a lot like a Pinehurst. It feels like some of those sand hills you would find in North Carolina. There’s no rough and you’ve got that rugged and natural look. When you combine that with the ocean views and the forest, it makes a very nice mix.”
The Nature Valley First Tee Open is a benefit for The First Tee, a nonprofit youth development organization successfully utilizing the game of golf and its inherent values to help young people build character and learn the life skills required for success on and off the golf course.