We’ve all had that daydream where we are taking a victorious walk down the 18th fairway at a major championship, with an adoring crowd cheering us on from both sides. For Seattle participants Bradley and Haley Wong, this dream will soon become their reality. Bradley (17) and Haley (15) were recently selected to play in the 2017 PURE Insurance Championship at Pebble Beach. This official PGA TOUR Champions event pairs 81 participants of The First Tee with TOUR professionals to compete for the pro-junior title. The siblings will have a chance to play in a field that includes golf greats like Tom Watson, Tom Kite, Vijay Singh, and Colin Montgomerie.
The Wongs were chosen through a highly competitive process that included a national panel of judges. Participants were selected based both on their playing ability and their ability to demonstrate leadership using The First Tee Nine Core Values. Haley and Bradley understand what living by the core values is all about. Having both started with The First Tee when they were seven years old, they have grown up in the program and now serve as mentors and coaches to younger players.
“Being selected to play at the PURE Insurance Championship means many different things to me,” said Haley. “The First Tee has taught me valuable life skills that have helped me throughout my life. It has provided me with incredible opportunities and I am thankful to be able to play with professionals at a prestigious course like Pebble Beach.”
Some might find playing among the world’s best professional golfers a bit intimidating, but Bradley embraces the opportunity to put his First Tee meeting-and-greeting skills to work.
“One of the most important lessons that I learned from my coaches at The First Tee is the importance of making eye contact and greeting someone with a firm handshake and an open-ended question,” said Bradley. “I didn’t get this concept when I was younger but when I started working as an assistant coach for The First Tee, I learned to appreciate the value of this life skill. I find it fascinating to learn about other people’s life experiences. No matter what a book or online news article tells us, I believe talking to somebody who has had the experience gives me the most insight into something new.”
The PURE Insurance Championship will take place the week of September 19-24, 2017. You can cheer for Haley and Bradley when you watch the action unfold on the Golf Channel.