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The First Tee of San Joaquin Teen Selected to Compete in PGA Tour Championship
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The First Tee of San Joaquin Teen Selected to Compete in PGA Tour Championship

Lauren Garces heads to Pebble Beach this September

First Tee and PGA TOUR Champions announced Lauren Garces will represent The First Tee of San Joaquin when she competes in the 2019 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 24-29. The 16th annual event, which is hosted by the Monterey Peninsula Foundation, will be televised internationally on Golf Channel.

Lauren Garces is going into her Junior year at Lincoln High School in Stockton Ca, Lauren has played on the Varsity Basketball team for the last two years as well as the Golf Team. In 2018 Lauren made it to the Norther California High School Championships. Lauren also participtes in the NCGA and JGANC Junior Tours in Northern California with many top 10 finishes. She is very active with our chapter over the past 3 years, as she volunteers on Saturday’s with the Target and Player programs.

The Board and Staff of the Chapter is very excited to see Lauren compete at Pebble Beach. This has been a goal of hers for the last 2 years and she has worked very hard to improve her game as well as her use of the First Tee Life Skills in all aspects of her life.

From The First Tee Greg McLaughlin: “Congratulations to the 78 participants who have been selected to play and represent First Tee on a national stage,” said First Tee President Greg McLaughlin. “Their hard work and commitment to academic, social and emotional development through our programs has secured this opportunity. Thank you to our partners − PURE Insurance, PGA TOUR Champions, Pebble Beach Resorts, Poppy Hills Golf Course, Monterey Peninsula Foundation and Golf Channel − for their commitment to young people and helping us provide this opportunity to these deserving teens.”

From The First Tee of San Joaquin Participaant Lauren Garces “Having the privilege to play in the Pure Insurance Championship will be the most memorable experience of my high school career no doubt. After playing golf competitively for the past 3 years, I have learned that golf can lead to lasting friendships and once in a lifetime opportunities. I will remember this week for the rest of my life, and i’d like to thank The First Tee of San Joaquin for teaching me life lessons and the core values that I will carry with me into my future”

The PURE Insurance Championship Impacting The First Tee is the only event of its kind where 78 First Tee teenagers from across the country are paired up with 78 PGA TOUR Champions players and 156 amateurs during an official PGA TOUR Champions tournament. Lauren Garces will compete for the Pro-Junior Team title. She will join 77 other participants from First Tee chapters across the country. Participants were selected by a national panel of judges based on their understanding and application of the values and life skills learned through First Tee’s programs, as well as their playing ability.

“We are proud to continue our involvement with this prestigious event and help support the great work of the Monterey Peninsula Foundation and First Tee,” said Katherine Frattarola, Chief Marketing Officer of the PURE Group of Insurance Companies. “The impact this event has on the incredible young men and women from the First Tee makes this sponsorship tremendously rewarding for our entire team.”

The full junior field was revealed live on Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive” on July 3, including a video of World Golf Hall of Fame Member Jack Nicklaus surprising one of the First Tee participants. Other surprises by PGA TOUR players and Golf Channel hosts had been recorded over the last month and aired today as part of the PURE Insurance Championship announcement.

This year’s field of professionals will include World Golf Hall of Fame Members Bernhard Langer, Mark O’Meara, Vijay Singh and Retief Goosen, as well as defending champion and recent KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship winner Ken Tanigawa. Clint Eastwood serves as chairman of the PURE Insurance Championship.

Play will be conducted on Pebble Beach Golf Links and Poppy Hills Golf Course on Friday and Saturday, with the final round 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. Nearly 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.

The First Tee is a youth development organization dedicated to helping young people build character through the game of golf. First Tee of San Joaquin is one of 150 chapters around the world introducing the sport of golf and First Tee’s Core Values to kids, positively impacting their lives. Serving the San Joaquin Community since 2004, more than 5500 kids have been impacted through the First Tee of San Joaquin’s programs.

To learn more about The First Tee of San Joaquin Chapter, visit For more information on the 2019 PURE Insurance Championship, visit For more information on Lauren Garces, to request an interview or photos, contact Chris Borrego, Program Director, or (209) 559-1996.

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