The First Tee of Columbia is sending Kendall Wallace to compete in the 2018 PURE Insurance Championship Impacting The First Tee, an official PGA TOUR Champions event to be contested at Pebble Beach Golf Links and Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach, California, September 24-30. The tournament, which is hosted by the Monterey Peninsula Foundation, will be televised internationally on the Golf Channel September 28-30.
“It was unbelievable hearing my name called this morning,” Wallace said. “This is a once in a lifetime experience and to be one of only 81 players in the country is phenomenal.”
“I am so excited to go to Pebble Beach to play with some of the best junior and champion players in the world,” he said. “I’m so thankful for all of the support from my family and my coaches at The First Tee of Columbia. I look forward to representing Columbia on a national level.”
Wallace is a rising senior at Westwood High School and has been a member of The First Tee of Columbia since 2008. He was one of three players selected nationwide to participate in the St. Augustine Amateur in Florida in 2017.
Wallace, who started playing golf at the age of 7, is a member of the Westwood High School golf team. He has been named the team’s MVP and Male Newcomer Athlete of the Year.
Sally Beacham, executive director of The First Tee of Columbia, said she is extremely proud of Wallace’s accomplishment.
“We knew the competition would be tough because 125 chapters from across the country applied to be a part of the championship,” Beacham said. “Kendall stands out because he is not only an excellent golfer, but he is the epitome of the Nine Core Values that we teach at The First Tee.”
“I’m pretty sure this will not be the last time you will hear the name, Kendall Wallace,” Beacham said.
The PURE Insurance Championship is the only event of its kind in which 81 junior golfers from The First Tee are teamed with 81 PGA TOUR Champions players and 162 amateurs during an official PGA TOUR Champions tournament. Wallace will be competing for the pro-junior title. He will join 80 other participants from The First Tee chapters, selected by a national panel of judges. The participants, which represent 22 states, were selected based on playing ability and application of the Nine Core Values and life skills learned through their involvement with The First Tee’s programs.
The junior field was announced this morning on Golf Channel’s Morning Drive. The show included surprises from PGA TOUR winner Jason Gore, Web.com Tour member Cameron Champ, Arizona State football coach Herm Edwards, Seattle Mariners manager Scott Servais and Golf Channel’s Charlie Rymer.
“We are proud to be a part of such a prestigious event that supports so many deserving young men and women from The First Tee throughout the country,” said Katherine Frattarola, Chief Marketing Officer of the PURE Group of Insurance Companies. “They are what make this tournament so special, and it’s humbling to be a part of something that has such a profound impact on their lives both on and off the course.”
“We are proud of the junior golfers selected to play at this year’s PURE Insurance Championship,” said Keith Dawkins, Chief Executive Officer of The First Tee. “These 81 teens, and the event, embody The First Tee’s beliefs around the importance of fan engagement, diversity and inclusion and having a sense of civic responsibility that is expressed through our Nine Core Values.”
As of July 11, players committed to compete in the PURE Insurance Championship include defending champion and World Golf Hall of Fame member Bernhard Langer, as well as fellow World Golf Hall of Fame members Colin Montgomerie, Mark O’Meara and Sandy Lyle. Players have until Friday, September 21 to commit, with additional commitments to be announced in the coming months.
In this 15th tournament year, more than 870 kids from The First Tee have played in the tournament while learning from PGA TOUR Champions players and amateurs in the field, all while showcasing The First Tee’s Nine Core Values and the leadership and life skills they have acquired.
Be sure to check back this week to see the behind the scenes as Kendall gets ready to participate!