Smotherman to play in First Tee Open at Pebble Beach

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The First Tee Open, a golf event that combines junior players vying with players from the PGA Seniors Tour, will be held this Friday through Sunday at Pebble Beach Golf Club. Included among this weekend’s entrants — which will be televised live by the Golf Channel -— is Austin Smotherman, a sophomore at Del Oro High. Smotherman competed back in July in Rogers, Ark., for a chance to be an entrant in this unique tournament that brings forth junior players with professionals from the Champions Tour. The Wal-Mart First Tee Open at Pebble Beach annually attracts an all-star lineup of Champions Tour players that have previously included World Golf Hall of Fame members Ben Crenshaw, Hale Irwin, Tom Kite, Larry Nelson, Gary Player, Lee Trevino and Tom Watson. Two selection events for 123 boys and girls ages 14-18 were held for young people that participate at The First Tee Chapters nationwide. Thirty-nine girls competed for 22 spots while 84 boys vied for 48 invitations. The girls’ event was conducted July 7-11 in Rye, NH while the boys’ event was held July 14-18 in Rogers, Ark. The selection process evaluates participants’ playing ability and comprehension of the life skills and core lessons learned through involvement with The First Tee. To round out the final field of 78 juniors who will compete in the tournament, the host organization, The Monterey Peninsula Foundation, will award eight exemptions.