By Brittany Wynne, First Tee
Seventy-eight First Tee teens are getting ready to tee it up at iconic Pebble Beach for the PURE Insurance Championship Impacting The First Tee. One thing each of the 78 teens have in common is their proven leadership and demonstration of values on display at their First Tee chapters, at school and in their communities. Beyond that, these teens also represent a wide array of backgrounds, talents and hobbies. We’d like to introduce you to 20 of the juniors in this year’s field.
Tune in to Golf Channel Sept. 27-29 to watch these teens and see how they put their life skills and golf skills into action.
First Tee of Northern Nevada
Hometown: Reno, NV
Fun Fact: I am a third-degree black belt in Taekwondo, which I earned this year. It has taught me perseverance, hard word and grit.
First Tee of Fort Worth
Hometown: Fort Worth, TX
Fun Fact: I am quadrilingual. I can speak fluent English and French (thanks to my father, who speaks the language). I learned Mandarin Chinese for three years and Spanish for 11 years.
First Tee of Greater Houston
Hometown: Houston, TX
Fun Fact: At a young age, I taught myself how to read hieroglyphs and am obsessed with everything ancient Egyptian. I work at the same museum I have been visiting my whole life and am trained in all sorts of macabre areas.
First Tee of Metropolitan Oklahoma City
Hometown: Oklahoma City, OK
Fun Fact: I have a fascination with meteorology. The only time I have ever met anyone else my age who shares my love for weather was at a summer weather camp that I traveled hundreds of miles to attend.
First Tee of Fort Worth
Hometown: Aledo, TX
Fun Fact: I’m learning American Sign Language and have had the opportunity to immerse myself in the deaf community and really test out my skills.
Anthony Ford II
First Tee of Metro Atlanta
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Fun Fact: I like to try new things. I picked Harp Ensemble as my elective unlike many of my peers who chose P.E. or weight training.
First Tee of Salina
Hometown: Salina, KS
Fun Fact: Before I was born, my parents were struggling to come up with a boy’s name that they liked. One night while watching Star Wars, it hit my mom: Luke. My dad loved it, too; mostly because he would be able to say, “Luke, I am your father.”
First Tee of Los Angeles
Hometown: Rosewood, CA
Fun Fact: I am a photographer. In 2017, I was awarded two gold medals for Best-In-Grade in photography by the National Scholastic Art & Writing competition. My work was honored in New York at Carnegie Hall, and it toured in other galleries across the nation.
First Tee of Benton Harbor
Hometown: Benton Harbor, MI
Fun Fact: As a third-grader, I was selected to have a golf lesson with Jack Nicklaus as a kickoff celebration to a PGA TOUR Champions event at our local course. I hit balls on the range while Mr. Nicklaus coached my swing. In eighth grade, I completed a video assignment on the impact he had on me. My dad sent the video to Jack Nicklaus through his website, and incredibly he watched it and sent me a letter with a signed picture of us together from that day.
First Tee of Greater Seattle
Hometown: Bellevue, WA
Fun Fact: I’m restoring a 1984 Volkswagen Mk2 Scirocco Wolfsburg edition into a daily driver/racecar. I drive the car to school and try to keep it in good shape.
First Tee of Greater Wilmington
Hometown: Wilmington, NC
Fun Fact: I played Baby Jenny on the hit TV series, “One Tree Hill.” During a convention this past February, I signed autographs for fans. Some of the fans – and One Tree Hill actress Hilarie Burton, a.k.a. Peyton – follow my golf career.
First Tee of Monterey County
Hometown: Salinas, CA
Fun Fact: My parents are first-generation immigrants and came from countries where golf is not a popular game. I was raised with four languages spoken daily at our house. Teachers would call my Mom and ask her to translate what I was saying. It turns out, I was simply making my own language, thinking that I had to since everyone at home spoke their own.
First Tee of South Dakota
Hometown: Sioux Falls, SD
Fun Fact: When the weather is nice, I ride my moped around town instead of driving a car. It is orange and white. Four of my friends have mopeds, too! We like to join up and go for rides together.
First Tee of Central Ohio
Hometown: Columbus, OH
Fun Fact: I presented Ohio legislation to increase the number of horse therapy centers as there is a waiting list of more than 5,000 kids. I co-authored a proposal to change the tax code for stables to qualify for discounted property taxes and the handicap access necessary for the level of horse therapy certification for stables. My teammates and I presented the proposal to State Representative Jonathan Dever, who is drafting a bill and presenting it to the House.
First Tee of Metropolitan Oklahoma City
Hometown: Choctaw, OK
Fun Fact: I’m named after legendary basketball coach, Eddie Sutton. I met Coach Sutton at four months old. He gave me a pair of signed Nike shoes. Six months later, he sent another signed pair and called my parents personally to wish us a Merry Christmas.
First Tee of The Palm Beaches
Hometown: North Palm Beach, FL
Fun Fact: I am very tall, at 6 feet, 8 inches and weigh 220 pounds. People often stare at me, as I am usually the tallest person wherever I go.
First Tee of North Florida
Hometown: Jacksonville, FL
Fun Fact: I’ve gained the nickname “Peter Parker” because some people think I look like the Spiderman actor, Tobey Maguire.
First Tee of Naples/Collier
Hometown: Naples, FL
Fun Fact: I’m obsessed with the restaurant Moe’s. I once had Moe’s for lunch nine days in a row, ordering the same meal each time – a chicken stack with cheese, black beans, queso and seasoned rice.
First Tee of Northeast Wisconsin
Hometown: De Pere, WI
Fun Fact: Many people do not know how to pronounce my name. My Dad came up with it. It is derived from the rock band Pearl Jam and Ozzy Osbourne, Jam-ozzy. My family and I often drive to golf tournaments on our RV. We will be traveling to Pebble Beach on the RV from Wisconsin, making fun pit stops along the way.
First Tee of Greater Austin
Hometown: Austin, TX
Fun Fact: I have a growing record collection, and anyone who knows me knows that I’m almost always listening to music. I pride myself on finding different artists across all genres.