The golf world’s attention is focused on Paris and the Ryder Cup this week, but we have a great event in our backyard.
The best senior players in the world arrived in Northern California this week to play on one of the most picturesque golf courses in the world, Pebble Beach Golf Links.
PGA Tour Champions, 81 in all, will be paired with 81 members of the First Tee from across the country in the Pure Insurance Championship, impacting the First Tee. It’s the 15th year that the senior pros will join with the young amateurs and play rounds Friday and Saturday at Pebble Beach and Poppy Hills and then finish at Pebble on Sunday. Each pro/amateur team will be joined by two adult amateurs.
For avid golf fans, they can watch 10 hours of Ryder Cup coverage on Golf Channel/NBC and then tune into Golf Channel for the Pure Insurance for three hours from 2-5 p.m. Unfortunately, sunny days and relatively mild temperatures are not in the forecast this week as morning fog is expected to linger resulting in afternoon temps in the mid-60s.
Most of the leading players in the Charles Schwab Cup are in the field, although money leader Miguel Angel Jimenez and David Toms are not in the field. It’s led by defending champion Bernhard Langer and also features fan favorite Freddie Couples. Couples also is scheduled to play the following week in the Safeway Open at the Silverado resort in the Napa Valley. The Safeway Open kicks off the 2018-19 PGA wrap-around season.
The field includes 22 major championships and 21 members of Ryder Cup teams. Among the legends are Tom Watson, winner of 14 majors and Hale Irwin, winner of 10 majors and the all-time leading winner on the senior tour. They are joined by Colin Montgomery of Scotland and Darren Clark of Northern Ireland and Sandy Lyle of Scotland.
Northern California First Tee chapters are represented by: Robert Aguayo (Monterey County), Olivia Alcoran (Greater Sacramento, Angel Antonio (Contra Costa), William Bensch (San Joaquin), Courtney Cervellin (Greater Sacramento), Yena Jang (Greater Sacramento), Christopher Khan (San Joaquin), Calton Kong (Silicon Valley), Erica Lam (Silicon Valley), Nthenya Maithya (Central Valley), Skyler May (San Joaquin), Isabelle O’Brien (Contra Costa), Hailey Salomone (Contra Costa), Matthew Sutherland (Greater Sacramento), Dylan Van Ostrand (Greater Sacramento), and Kelly Yu (Silicon Valley).
Practice rounds run through Thursday with Thursday also featuring the Chevron Shoot-out for STEM Scholars at 3 p.m. The six-hole alternate shot tourney includes holes 1,2,3,17 and 18. The pairings are: Bernhard Langer and Becca Connolly from the First Tee of Triad; Paul Broadhurst and Gary Chong of The First Tee of Lake County; Esteban Toledo and Giuliana Gomez from The First Tee of Miami; John Cook and Kaila McAbee of The First Tee of Fort Worth; Kirk Triplett and Mylz Oliver of The First Tee of Atlanta and Jeff Sluman and Roberto Aguayo of The First Tee of Monterey County. The teams will compete for $100,000 in college scholarships.
There is no admission or parking charge for the Pure Insurance. Rounds start at 7:15 a.m. Friday and Saturday and 8 a.m. on Sunday.
By Tim Hunt