AUSTIN, TX. (May 25, 2012) – Andrew Leigh, an upcoming senior at Anderson High School, has been chosen as one of eighty participants representing 50 chapters of The First Tee to play in the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach, an official Champions Tour event that will be held July 6-8 and televised internationally on the Golf Channel.
Andrew is one of seven participants selected from Texas. Andrew has participated in The First Tee of Greater Austin programs since the age of seven. He has progressed through the programming to his current Eagle level and gives back by mentoring younger kids on Saturdays and at The First Tee summer camps. “It’s cool to have them look up to me,” Andrew says.
Andrew believes that The First Tee offers not only a great golf and life skills curriculum, but an excellent way to "meet people and explore career opportunities." His participation in The First Tee Leadership Academy and Future Leaders Forum in 2011 led to friendships he continues to maintain and he is looking forward to meeting both peers and industry leaders at The First Tee Open. Andrew is also the second person in his family to participate in The First Tee Open; his older sister Ariel, a former TFTGA participant, was chosen to play in 2007.
“We are so grateful to be part of the First Tee. We thank each and every one who has been guiding and working with Andrew throughout the years – especially Jordan Jones, Coach Jeff Bell, Cyndi Hernandez, and Vicki Woodcock,” said Andrew’s father Albert Leigh, “I must say The First Tee has certainly accomplished its goal to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf."
More than 180 applications were submitted, and participants were selected not only on their golf skills, but more importantly, their ability to demonstrate the core values that form the foundation of The First Tee program. Overall, 81 juniors, ages 15-18 will be teamed with 81 Champions Tour players and 162 amateurs as they compete for the title at Pebble Beach Golf Links and Del Monte Golf Course.
“The Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach is an opportunity of a lifetime for the young people in our program,” says Joe Louis Barrow, Jr., chief executive of The First Tee. “Playing at world-renowned golf courses alongside Champions Tour players, the event provides our participants the chance to showcase not only their golfing abilities but also the core values developed through The First Tee’s Life Skills Experience. We are very grateful for the generosity of Nature Valley.”
Champions Tour players scheduled to play include World Golf Hall of Fame members Tom Kite and Nick Price, along with past champions of this unique event. Jeff Sluman, who captured the title in 2008, 2009 and 2011 will be back to defend his title. Chip Beck, John Cook and fan-favorite Fuzzy Zoeller have also committed.
Clint Eastwood is chairman of the event and Arnold Palmer, a Trustee of The First Tee, is honorary co-chair. Play will be conducted on Pebble Beach Golf Links and Del Monte Golf Course on Friday and Saturday, and final round will be played on Pebble Beach on Sunday.
Nature Valley has provided continuous support to The First Tee throughout the years, most recently becoming a Trustee in 2011.
About The First Tee of Greater Austin
The First Tee of Greater Austin (www.thefirstteeaustin.org) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit youth development organization whose mission is to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf.
In 2011, The First Tee of Greater Austin served more than 5,000 kids in the Austin community through regular programming at the Harvey Penick Golf Campus, multiple satellite locations throughout Austin, and the launch of the National School Program in the Manor Independent School District (ISD). The First Tee of Greater Austin has impacted more than 15,000 kids since the program was founded in 1999.