First Tee and PGA TOUR Champions announced today that WSJM Sports Female Student Athlete of the Year and St. Joe grad Maya Hunter will represent First Tee — Benton Harbor when she competes in the 2021 PURE Insurance Championship Impacting the First Tee. The event, in its 18th 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. 20-26. The annual event, hosted by the Monterey Peninsula Foundation, is televised nationally on Golf
Maya has been a part of First Tee – Benton Harbor for over 10 years. She currently ranks second all-time in career scoring average at St. Joseph High School for the girl’s golf team. Hunter excelled at basketball and soccer as well during her time at St. Joseph High School.
Throughout the week the teens apply the life and leadership 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. Maya will compete for the Pro Junior Team title. She will join 80 other teens from First Tee chapters across the country and for the first time a participant from First Tee — Morocco will be in the field. Participants were selected by a national panel of judges based on their personal growth and life skills learned through First Tee’s programs, as well as their playing ability.
The full junior field was revealed live on Golf Channel’s “Golf Today.” The reveal included surprises with PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan, PGA TOUR player Ryan Palmer, Korn Ferry Tour player Austin Smotherman and Golf Channel hosts Shane Bacon and Damon Hack that had been recorded over the last month and aired as part of the PURE Insurance Championship junior field announcement.
“Congratulations to Maya Hunter who has been selected to play and represent First Tee – Benton Harbor on a national stage,” said Greg McLaughlin, First Tee CEO. “Her hard work and commitment to academic and personal growth through our programs 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 winners Kirk Triplett and Jeff Sluman. 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.
“We are proud to be a part of this incredible event and the support it provides to the many deserving young men and women from the First Tee,” said Katie Krum, Chief Marketing Officer of the PURE Group of Insurance Companies. “My participation in sports throughout my youth helped shape so much of who I am today, personally and professionally so it’s energizing to be part of an organization that sees this value and an event that supports 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 2021 PURE Insurance Championship can be found at https://firsttee.org/programs/youth-opportunities/pure-insurance-championship/2021-pure-insurance-championship-selected-participants/