Xavier golfer to compete in First Tee competition at Pebble Beach

Xavier College Preparatory student Ashley Menne (submitted photo)

The First Tee and PGA TOUR Champions announced Thursday, Aug. 15 Ashley Menne, Scott Schlader and Cade Kilanowski will represent the The First Tee of Phoenix when they compete in the 2019 PURE Insurance Championship Impacting The First Tee in Pebble Beach, California.

The official PGA Tour Champions event to be contested at Pebble Beach Golf Links and Poppy Hills Golf Course Sept. 24-29. The 16th annual event, which the Monterey Peninsula Foundation hosts, will be televised internationally on Golf Channel, according to a press release. Ms. Menne attends Xavier College Preparatory.

“We are thrilled for these wonderful young people to be selected to participate in this year’s PURE Insurance Championship,” Herman Lewkowitz, The First Tee of Phoenix board chairman, said in a prepared statement.

“All three of them are incredible stewards of the game of golf and embody the core values of The First Tee of Phoenix. We look forward to watching them compete, but more importantly, we’re thrilled to see them learn and grow to become future leaders of our community.”

The PURE Insurance Championship Impacting The First Tee is 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.

Ms. Menne, Mr. Schlader and Mr. Kilanowski will compete for the Pro-Junior Team title. They will join 75 other participants from First Tee chapters across the country. A national panel of judges selected participants based on their understanding and application of the values and life skills learned through First Tee’s programs, as well as their playing ability.

“These three outstanding members are not only talented golfers, but outstanding young men and ladies of our chapter who are so deserving of this honor” Kevin Terry, executive director of The First Tee of Phoenix, said in a prepared statement

“They exemplify what are nine core values are all about and will be great representatives of our chapter. Our coaches and volunteers have done a wonderful job of developing their skills. We are so proud of all of them.”

Ms. Menne has been a member of The First Tee of Phoenix for nearly five years. She won the Arizona High School Division 1 State Championships from 2016-19. She is an ACE level First Tee participant and is committed to play golf for the Arizona State Sun Devils.

Mr. Schlader attends Desert Vista High School in Phoenix where he is a member of the National Honor Society and captain of the Varsity golf team. He is a two-time Desert Vista High School Scholar Athete of the year and was named his high school golf team’s MVP for the 2018-2019 season. Mr. Schlader is an ACE level First Tee participant.

Mr. Kilanowski attends Perry High School in Gilbert where he is a four-time letterman of the varsity golf team. He is an active supporter of The First Tee of Phoenix’s Lonetree Golf Course, where he volunteers his time by sharing his experiences with Par and Birdie members of the chapter. Kilanowski is an ACE level First Tee participant.

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 Aug. 15 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, a release states.

Play will be conducted on Pebble Beach Golf Links and Poppy Hills Golf Course on Sept. 27 and 28, with the final round contested solely at Pebble Beach Golf Links on Sept. 29, 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 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 Phoenix 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 Maricopa County since 2001, thousands of kids have been impacted through The First Tee of Phoenix programs.

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