• John Patota

The First Tee of the Sandhills selects Jaclyn Kenzel to play in PGA TOUR Champions event

Updated: Jul 17, 2018

Pinehurst, North Carolina - July 11, 2018

Jaclyn Kenzel
Jaclyn Kenzel

The First Tee of the Sandhills is sending Jaclyn Kenzel 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 Golf Channel September 28-30.

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.

Kenzel will be competing for the pro-junior title. She 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.

Jacklyn Kenzel
Jaclyn Kenzel

The junior field was announced LIVE on Golf Channel’s Morning Drive. Kenzel, her family, fellow participants from The First Tee, Volunteers and Board Members gathered at Pinehurst Country Club to watch, together.

Hoping for a positive outcome, but prepared to support Jaclyn and celebrate her achievements, the group anxiously awaited the announcement for the Central Atlantic Region.

When Jaclyn’s name appeared on the TV monitor the room was filled with cheers, smiles and hugs. Kenzel’s immediate reaction was elation, her hands raise into the air and her smile stretch from ear to ear. She expressed, “I am so blessed to be surrounded by an amazing group of supporters at The First Tee. What an amazing opportunity this is going to be. I can’t wait to go to California this September!”

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.

Kenzel, a participant in The First Tee since 2007, fell in love with the game of golf on a putting green at the age of 4. Since this first encounter, Jaclyn has become engaged in all the great opportunities this game can offer. Jaclyn has gone from a 5 year old child who simply wanted to beat her brother, in a game at The First Tee class, to a competitive junior player that strives to be one of the best in her age group.

On the course, Jaclyn has posted several impressive finishes during the last year, including a T-3 in the 4A Girls’ State Championship and a T-8 at the Carolinas Junior Girls’ Championship.

While Jaclyn’s golf accomplishments shine in newspapers and at award banquets, her work that is done without public recognition is just as impressive.

A rising Junior at Pinecrest High School, she currently holds a 4.3636 GPA and is an active member of the National Honor Society. She balances school with several extracurricular activities, such as; the Girls Golf Team, the Pinecrest Marching Band, and giving back in the community.

Kenzel spends her time volunteering in the community with the younger generations. She is an avid supporter of The First Tee of the Sandhills TARGET Program, which teaches 5 & 6 year olds the game of golf in a fun engaging environment. She loves that this group of kids are simply there to have fun and cheer on each other’s successes.

Additionally, Jaclyn actively supports her church’s child care service and volunteers every year with the Moore County Special Olympics.

Speaking on behalf of The First Tee of the Sandhills, Coach Matt said, “We are thrilled for Jaclyn to have received selection into this year’s PURE Insurance Championship junior field. This event is truly an experience of a lifetime and we are confident Jaclyn will represent our chapter proudly while taking away so many new life experiences, friendships and inspiration for her future.”

The First Tee of the Sandhills plans to blog Jaclyn’s preparation leading up to the PURE Insurance Championship and provide daily recaps upon her arrival to Pebble Beach, California on September 25. Together, we can enjoy her experience.

Story and photos contributed by Courtney Stiles, The First Tee of the Sandhills Executive Director.

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