Two First Tee of the Triad Students Set to Play PURE Insurance Championship at Pebble Beach This Weekend

Posted by Press Release on September 26, 2018 at 11:39 am under Amateur | Comments are off for this article


GREENSBORO, N.C. – – Later this week, two First Tee of the Triad students, Winston-Salem’s Becca Connolly and Greensboro’s Victoria Ladd, will tee it up on one of the most famous golf courses in the world: The Pebble Beach Golf Links in Monterey, Calif. Connolly and Ladd will play in the 2018 PURE Insurance Championship Impacting The First Tee, an official PGA TOUR Champions event hosted by Monterey Peninsula Foundation.

Connolly, 16, is a junior at R.J. Reynolds High School who enjoys The First Tee of the Triad programming at Tanglewood Park. She began playing golf when she was seven, and with a 6.8 handicap, she should be prepared for the stern test at Pebble Beach this weekend. Regardless of the competition, she knows she’ll enjoy being on the world-famous golf course because of her love of the game.

“I enjoy golf because it is a quiet, outdoor sport that requires a lot of time and patience,” Connolly said. “Golf has taught me how to be honest and persevere through hardship, which are very useful life skills. When I’m not playing golf, I am most likely studying, doing homework, participating in youth group activities or volunteering. Along with golf, I enjoy hiking, bike riding and spending time outdoors, especially when it is with friends or family.”

Ladd, 17, began playing golf just four years ago, and her handicap is 2.4. This Northern Guilford High School senior who participates in The First Tee of the Triad programming at Gillespie Golf Club in Greensboro, has already experienced success in golf and hopes to continue.

“One of my most significant golf achievements is that my team and I came in second at our State Championship,” Ladd said. “I led the team as an individual and came in tied for fourth, but this is most significant to me because we did it as a team and made many memories.

“Golf is an incomplete sport, and I feel as though I will never master it. For that reason, I love it. I hope to receive scholarship offers to play golf at a Division I school. Obtaining my degree while playing golf would be the best of both worlds. One of my goals after college is to obtain a stable job that I love, one that makes me want to go to work every day.”

The PURE Insurance Championship will be played on both Pebble Beach Golf links and Poppy Hills Golf Course this Friday and Saturday. The final round is slated solely for Pebble Beach on Sunday. All three rounds will be televised on Golf Channel. Following Saturday’s second round, the tournament will cut the field to the top 81 professionals and the low 23 junior/amateur teams. Those junior golfers missing the cut will play the Core Values Cup at Poppy Hills on Sunday.

These First Tee of the Triad students are two of 81 young men and women ages 14 to 18 who were selected by a national panel of judges that evaluated participants’ playing ability and comprehension of the life skills and core values learned through their involvement with The First Tee.

The juniors will be teamed with 81 PGA TOUR Champions players and 162 amateurs as they compete for the PURE Insurance Championship at Pebble Beach pro-junior title. Among the PGA TOUR Champions golfers scheduled to compete are World Golf Hall of Famers Colin Montgomerie, Mark O’Meara, Sandy Lyle, Vijay Singh and Tom Watson along with former Wyndham Championship winners Rocco Mediate, Jesper Parnevik, O’Meara, Lyle and Mark Brooks as well as Reidsville’s Mike Goodes and Wake Forest alumnus Jay Haas.

Conolly and Ladd are the sixth and seventh First Tee of the Triad students selected to participate in the PURE Insurance Championship at Pebble Beach. Previous participants were Ryan Birkdale from Lewisville, N.C., Seth Lomison from Pfafftown, N.C. just outside Winston-Salem, Matthew Guo from Clemmons, N.C., Mark Johnston from Lewisville, N.C., and Chandler Wilkins from Danville, Va.

“We are so incredibly proud of Becca and Victoria, and we congratulate them on being selected to represent our chapter at this fantastic Pebble Beach event,” The First Tee of the Triad CEO Mike Barber said. “Having two of our students invited to this prestigious event says a great deal about the volunteer coaches who work with them. Thanks to many generous Piedmont Triad companies and individuals, our students are able to attend these events at no expense; we appreciate their generosity very much.”

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’s Nine Core Values are: honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy and judgment. The PURE Insurance Championship is one of 10 national opportunities provided by The First Tee headquarters to encourage and motivate kids as they progress through the program and toward high school graduation.

For more information, visit To learn more about The First Tee, visit

About The First Tee of the Triad:

The First Tee of the Triad is currently operating at 18 facilities throughout the Piedmont Triad, central North Carolina and southern Virginia. Its programming is offered at Bryan Park in Browns Summit, Country Club of Salisbury, DHA-Jones Crossing in Danville, Va., Gillespie Golf Course in Greensboro, Grandover Resort in Greensboro, Goodyear Golf Course in Danville, Va., Greensboro National Golf Club in Summerfield, Indian Valley Golf Course in Burlington, Iron Play Par 3 Links in Summerfield, Jamestown Park Golf Course, Oak Hollow Golf Course in High Point, Rick Murphy Golf Academy in Greensboro, Ringgold Golf Course in Ringgold, Va., Sapona Ridge Country Club in Lexington, Statesville Country Club, Tanglewood Park in Clemmons, Winding Creek Golf Course in Thomasville and Winston Lake Golf Course in Winston-Salem. The First Tee of the Triad is one of 180 chapters operating some 1,000 golf programming locations in all 50 states and four foreign countries with more than 10 million participants. More than 7,000 elementary schools participate in The First Tee National School Program. For additional information, please visit

About The First Tee:

The First Tee, an initiative of the World Golf Foundation, has as its mission, “To impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf.” The goal of The First Tee is to provide the golf-learning facilities and the experience that will enable kids from every walk of life to partake of a game that teaches values for life and which can be played for a lifetime. Founded by the World Golf Foundation in 1997, The First Tee is a way to bring golf to children that otherwise would not be exposed to the game or its positive values. The program is overseen and has the active support of committee members representing Augusta National Golf Club, the Ladies Professional Golf Association, PGA of America, PGA TOUR and the United States Golf Association. Former President George W. Bush serves as Honorary Chairman; he succeeds his father, former president George H.W. Bush, who served as The First Tee’s Honorary Chairman since the organization’s inception in 1997 and now serves as the Honorary Chair Emeritus.

Contact:Mike Barber
The First Tee of the Triad

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