Pebble Beach, Calif – Sept. 30, 2018 – Matthew Sutherland from The First Tee of Greater Sacramento and his uncle, PGA TOUR Champions professional Kevin Sutherland, clinched the Pro-Junior title today at the PURE Insurance Championship Impacting The First Tee finishing 16-under. The Sutherlands won the tournament in a three-way scorecard playoff with Caroline Wales from The First Tee of Coachella Valley (Calif.) and pro partner Stephen Ames, and Yena Jang from The First Tee of Greater Sacramento and pro partner Duffy Waldorf.
Making his PURE Insurance Championship debut, Ken Tanigawa earned his first win on the PGA TOUR Champions with an eagle on the 18th hole to finish 10-under. Tanigawa was a medalist at PGA TOUR Champions Q-School in December 2017 and earned fully-exempt status for this season. This was his 18th start on PGA TOUR Champions this season. This win moved him to No. 20 in the Charles Schwab Cup.
The PURE Insurance Championship is a unique event that pairs junior golfers with PGA TOUR Champions professionals. Eighty-one juniors and pros were in the field for the tournament played at Pebble Beach Golf Links and Poppy Hills Golf Course this weekend. Matthew Sutherland, from Carmichael, Calif., was one of 23 junior golfers who made the cut to play the third and final round today at Pebble Beach Golf Links.
“Before the week I was thinking of all the players who have played competitive golf at Pebble Beach, and it’s a short list,” said The First Tee participant Matthew Sutherland. “To put yourself in a category of people who have won at Pebble Beach is on another level and I’m just happy to be a part of that.”
“Congratulations to all 81 of our junior golfers and especially Matthew Sutherland for their outstanding performance at this week’s tournament,” said Keith Dawkins, Chief Executive Officer of The First Tee. “These teens demonstrate how The First Tee’s Nine Core Values positively impact kids’ lives and can be used every day on and off the course. A special thanks to PURE Insurance and Monterey Peninsula Foundation for helping make their dreams come true.”
“We are proud of all the juniors who competed this week; it was an absolute honor to get to know each and every one of these incredible young men and women who will undoubtedly go on to do great things,” said Katherine Frattarola, Chief Marketing Officer of the PURE Group of Insurance Companies. “A special congratulations to Matthew Sutherland on the accomplishment of winning the PURE Insurance Championship.”
Matthew Sutherland, a 17-year-old senior at Rio Americano High School, has been involved with The First Tee for 11 years. He volunteers weekly at The First Tee of Greater Sacramento as an assistant coach. Matthew holds a +1.0 handicap and recently committed to play golf at Fresno State in California. The nephew of PGA TOUR Champions player Kevin Sutherland, Matthew grew up around golf but says it’s The First Tee where he learned how to act on and off the golf course, and learned how to be a leader.
The First Tee of Greater Sacramento is one of 150 chapters across The First Tee network and reaches more than 50,000 youth annually. They offer programs at area golf facilities, at schools through The First Tee National School Program, and at youth centers through The First Tee DRIVE.
About The First Tee
The First Tee (www.thefirsttee.org) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit youth sports organization whose mission is to grow the game of golf by transforming the experience that kids (and families) have with the sport. The First Tee is engaging the next generation of fans through unique golf experiences, signature events and strategic partnerships. Since its inception in 1997, The First Tee has introduced the sport of golf and The First Tee’s Nine Core Values to more than 15 million kids, positively impacting their lives along the way. The First Tee offers programs in all 50 states, reaching more than 5 million kids annually through: The National School Program in more than 10,000 elementary schools, 150 chapters at more than 1,200 golf courses and The First Tee DRIVE at 1,300 youth centers. The First Tee is expanding globally and currently offers programs at six international locations.
The First Tee’s Founding Partners are LPGA, the Masters Tournament, PGA of America, PGA TOUR and the USGA. Golf Channel is The First Tee’s proud media partner and former President George W. Bush serves as honorary chair.