First Tee — Metro Atlanta Teens Selected for PGA TOUR Champions’ PURE Insurance Championship Impacting First Tee at Pebble Beach
Marcus Leonard Jr. & Bernardo Little Jr. head to Pebble Beach this September
First Tee and PGA TOUR Champions announced today Marcus Leonard Jr. and Bernardo Little Jr. will represent First Tee — Metro Atlanta when they compete in the 2022 PURE Insurance Championship Impacting First Tee. The event, in its 19th year, will bring teens from First Tee chapters to Pebble Beach Golf Links and Spyglass Hill Golf Course for the PGA TOUR Champions tournament, Sept. 20-25. The annual event, hosted by the Monterey Peninsula Foundation, is televised nationally on Golf Channel.
Marcus Leonard Jr. is a rising senior at Drew Charter School. Marcus has been involved with First Tee — Metro Atlanta for 8 years. Marcus enjoys volunteering at his church and in the community, as well as mentoring younger students through the Book Buddies program at Drew Charter school.
Bernardo Little Jr. is a rising senior at Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School. Bernardo has been a First Tee participant since he was 8 years old. In addition to his participation with First Tee, Bernardo is an officer in the Cristo Rey Atlanta Toastmasters Gavel Club and serves as a news anchor for the school’s CRA News.
Throughout the week, the teens apply their character strengths and life skills learned from First Tee programs during the one-of-a-kind event where they are paired with a PGA TOUR Champions player and amateurs from the business world. Marcus and BJ will compete for the Pro-Junior Team title. They will join 77 other teens from First Tee chapters across the country and – for the second year in a row – a participant from First Tee — Morocco. Participants were selected by a national panel of judges based on their personal growth and development through First Tee’s programs, as well as their playing ability.
The full junior field was revealed live on Golf Channel’s “Golf Today.” Several players and legends of the game helped surprise select participants with the news of their selection, including World Golf Hall of Fame Member Jack Nicklaus; PGA TOUR players Stewart Cink, Cameron Champ, and Austin Smotherman; PGA TOUR Champions player Ken Duke; and No. 1 APGA Collegiate Player and Duke University stand-out Quinn Riley.
“Congratulations to Marcus and BJ who have been selected to play and represent First Tee — Metro Atlanta on a national stage,” said Greg McLaughlin, First Tee CEO. “Their hard work and commitment to academic and personal growth through our program has secured this opportunity. Thank you to our partners − PURE Insurance, PGA TOUR Champions, Pebble Beach Resorts, Monterey Peninsula Foundation and Golf Channel − for their commitment to young people and helping us provide this opportunity to these deserving teens.”
This year’s field of PGA TOUR Champions players will feature World Golf Hall of Fame Members Bernhard Langer, Mark O’Meara, Vijay Singh, as well as three-time PURE Insurance Championship winner Kirk Triplett. Clint Eastwood serves as chairman of the PURE Insurance Championship.
Play will be conducted on Pebble Beach Golf Links and Spyglass Hill Golf Course on Friday and Saturday. The final round will be contested solely at Pebble Beach Golf Links on Sunday, where 23 First Tee juniors will compete based on their 36-hole performance. The tournament will crown one male and one female First Tee Junior Champion on Sunday.
More than 1,000 teens from First Tee have played in the PURE Insurance Championship, experiencing the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet, play and be mentored by PGA TOUR Champions players and amateurs in the field.
“Supporting these incredible young men and women along with the great work of First Tee through this sponsorship is tremendously rewarding for our entire team,” said Katie Krum, Chief Marketing Officer at PURE Insurance. “I know firsthand the impact and value that participating in youth sports can have on one’s development, personally and professionally, so I am particularly proud to be part of an organization that lends support to such a worthy cause.”
First Tee is a youth development organization that teaches life skills and helps kids and teens build their strength of character through golf. The PURE Insurance Championship is one of several national opportunities provided by First Tee Headquarters to encourage and motivate participants as they progress through the program and toward higher education opportunities.
The junior field for 2022 PURE Insurance Championship can be viewed here.