81 Juniors Headed to Poppy Hills and Pebble Beach for The First Tee Open
July 1, 2015
Some of the best juniors in the country are headed to Poppy Hills Golf Course and Pebble Beach Golf Links to play with the pros.
On Wednesday, officials announced the 80 juniors representing chapters of The First Tee nationwide who have been selected to play in the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach, an official Champions Tour event hosted by the Monterey Peninsula Foundation. The championship will be held Sept. 25-27, with the first two rounds being held at Poppy Hills GC and Pebble Beach and the final round being held at Pebble Beach.
The 80 junior boys and girls, ages 14-18, were selected by a national panel of judges that evaluated participants’ playing ability and comprehension of the life skills and core values learned through their involvement with The First Tee. The Monterey Peninsula Foundation also selected one exemption to complete the field of 81.
“At Nature Valley we have great admiration for the mission of The First Tee. The program has such a meaningful impact in the lives of young people by strengthening important values like responsibility, judgement and perseverance. The opportunity for these teenagers to be selected as a part of The First Tee has the power to transform lives,” said Carla Vernón at General Mills. “The teenagers selected to play in the Nature Valley First Tee Open have worked hard to prepare for this opportunity, and we are immensely proud to welcome them to this year’s tournament.”
The juniors will be teamed with 81 Champions Tour players and 162 amateurs as they compete for the pro-junior title at Pebble Beach Golf Links and Poppy Hills Golf Course. Champions Tour players committed to play include last year’s Nature Valley First Tee Open winner John Cook, Charles Schwab Cup contender and World Golf Hall of Fame member Colin Montgomerie, as well as two-time U.S. Open winner Lee Janzen. Janzen claimed the pro-junior competition last year when his junior partner, Christopher Meyers from The First Tee of Tucson, holed a 4-iron from the fairway for a final-hole albatross to secure the title.
The junior field was announced this morning on Golf Channel’s Morning Drive. The show included Champions Tour player Kirk Triplett, PGA TOUR player and The First Tee alumnus Scott Langley, and Golf Channel’s Charlie Rymer and Kelly Tilghman surprising four juniors with the news of their selection.
“An invitation to this event is a goal many teenage participants at our chapters set, and it is exciting to see their hard work and perseverance rewarded,” Joe Louis Barrow, Jr., chief executive officer of The First Tee, said. “We appreciate our partners—Nature Valley, Champions Tour, Pebble Beach Resorts, Monterey Peninsula Foundation and Golf Channel—and their commitment to the event which is a life-changing experience for the juniors.”
In its 12th year, more than 630 participants from The First Tee chapters have benefited from the opportunity to play in the tournament by meeting and learning from Champions Tour players and amateurs in the field, utilizing the leadership and life skills they have acquired at their chapters. The Nature Valley First Tee Open is one of 15 national opportunities provided by The First Tee home office to encourage and motivate young people as they progress through the program and toward high school graduation.
The First Tee is a nonprofit youth development organization with programs centered on building character through Nine Core Values™: honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy and judgment.
Juniors from Northern California who were selected to play are:
- Daniel Connolly (exemption) San Francisco
- Jack Avrit The First Tee of Central Coast Arroyo Grande
- Neha Sikand The First Tee of Central Coast Atascadero
- Dominic Salomone The First Tee of Contra Costa Martinez
- Michael Cliff The First Tee of Fresno Fresno
- Noor Ahmed The First Tee of Greater Sacramento Folsom
- Austin Fox The First Tee of Greater Sacramento Folsom
- David Laskin The First Tee of Greater Sacramento Elk Grove
- Drake Mendenhall The First Tee of Greater Sacramento Granite Bay
- Nicole Schroeder The First Tee of Greater Sacramento Rocklin
- Chanha Kim The First Tee of Monterey County Salinas
- Derrick Ow The First Tee of Monterey County Salinas
- Hayley Yukihiro The First Tee of Monterey County Pacific Grove
- Clare Brady The First Tee of Silicon Valley Campbell
- Bibilani Liu The First Tee of Silicon Valley Cupertino
- Ronnie McDowell Jr. The First Tee of Silicon Valley San Jose
- Ryan Ramboyong The First Tee of Silicon Valley San Jose
- Tiffany Cha The First Tee of the Tri-Valley San Ramon
- Ardin Lo The First Tee of the Tri-Valley Pleasanton