Cole Chastain, Abigail Fernandez, and Kaleb Palm of First Tee – Central Florida will compete in the upcoming First Tee National Championship, June 20-25, 2021 at Clemson University. The first-ever event with a total of 48 players will bring together First Tee’s elite golfers for an opportunity to showcase how the program has helped build the strength of character needed to play at the collegiate or next level. The tournament was postponed in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Cole has been with First Tee – Central Florida for seven years. He has participated in multiple classes, been selected for many National Opportunities, including the Pure Insurance Open at Pebble Beach, and has become a wonderful advocate and volunteer for us. Chastain has played golf at the high school level for Circle Christian and will continue to play at the collegiate level this Fall at LeTourneau University. On his acceptance Cole stated, “It is both an honor and a privilege to represent my chapter at the First Tee National Championship. This opportunity was cancelled in 2020, so I was not sure I would ever be able to be a part of such an elite player list. I’m looking forward to making memories and having fun with First Tee participants from across the county”
Abigail has been with First Tee – Central Florida for six years. She has participated in multiple classes and serves as an eLeader in our Girls Golf Program. This will be Abigail’s first National Opportunity she competes in. Fernandez is currently a sophomore and plays on Circle Christian’s high school golf team. She stated, “I’m very honored to be one of the few selected for the National Championship. I’m looking forward to experiencing this wonderful tournament and meeting new friends from other chapters along the way!”
Kaleb has been with First Tee – Central Florida for six years. He has participated in multiple classes, and like Cole, been selected for many National Opportunities, including the Pure Insurance Open at Pebble Beach. Kaleb is an elite golfer who was selected for the Congaree Global Golf Initiative in 2019. Palm played at the high school level for Cypress Creek and is signed to begin to play this Fall at Florida Atlantic University. Kaleb said, “This tournament means a great deal to me. I was one of the few participants selected and it is going to be an amazing honor to play in such an event like this. Especially since the event was cancelled last year, it will be so amazing to get to play this year with all new people and friends I will get to meet”.
While COVID protocols will be in effect, the 54-hole event will take place and the winners of each girls’ and boys’ divisions will be awarded with the Tattersall Cup and also will earn an exemption into the PGA TOUR Champions’ PURE Insurance Championship Impacting the First Tee held at Pebble Beach Golf Links September 21-26, 2021.
“We are proud to see Cole, Abigail, and Kaleb from our area compete in this inaugural event, which will provide them with a college level experience on and off the course” said Scott Spragg, Executive Director of First Tee – Central Florida.
First Tee National Championship will be held annually at various college campuses around the nation providing First Tee participants the opportunity to network with others from across the country and take in the college experience.
Clemson University’s The Walker Course is set to host the inaugural Championship. During the week, Chastain, Fernandez, and Palm will have the opportunity to hear from PGA Head Golf Professional Steve Scott on how his values intersected with his experience of finishing Runner-Up to Tiger Woods in the 1996 U.S. Amateur Championship.
The field includes 24 boys and 24 girls, ages 14-19, who were selected based on their golf skill, competitive golf experience and handicap. Players will come from 32 First Tee chapters across the country.