At this week’s Champions Tour event, the 2015 Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach, there will be some added Pittsburgh flavor to the event as First Tee of Pittsburgh participant Samantha Shumaker was selected to compete.
Shumaker and 80 other participants from The First Tee chapters across the country were selected by a panel of judges who based their choices upon not just playing ability, but an understanding of the life skills and character education that The First Tee provides.
“This is a dream come true,” Shumaker said in a press release. “When my parents signed me up to golf with The First Tee I could have never imagined playing at Pebble Beach. After a few short years I came to see Pebble Beach in my future and now it is coming true, this is amazing.”
The event is in its 12th year.
“At Nature Valley we have great admiration for the mission of The First Tee. The program has such a meaningful impact in the lives of young people by strengthening important values like responsibility, judgement and perseverance. The opportunity for these teenagers to be selected as a part of The First Tee has the power to transform lives,” said Carla Vernón at General Mills in a press release. “The teenagers selected to play in the Nature Valley First Tee Open, including Samantha, have worked hard to prepare for this opportunity, and we are immensely proud to welcome them to this year’s tournament.”
Shumaker is a senior at Plum High School and had been with The First Tee of Pittsburgh for nine years. She is an Ace level participant at The First Tee, which is the high level offered with the program.
Each of the 81 participants will play with a Champions Tour professional, and Shumaker will play with Stephen Ames. Ames has five top-10’s this season, highlighted by a tie for fourth at the Greater Gwinnett Championship.
Play will be from Friday through Sunday with the first two rounds taking place at Poppy Hills Golf Course and the final day being played at Pebble Beach Golf Links.
“The First Tee of Pittsburgh couldn’t be more excited for Sammy to experience this amazing opportunity. She is an outstanding young woman on and off the golf course and is being rewarded for hard work and perseverance.” Schumaker’s coach Leslie Russell said in the press release.