Pinehurst Golf -Jaclyn Kenzel

A rising Junior at Pinecrest High School will be traveling to California to compete in the PGA TOUR Champions event.

Moore County’s own, Jaclyn Kenzel is being sent to Pebble Beach Golf Links and Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach by The First Tee of the Sandhills.

The 2018 PURE Insurance Championship Impacting the First Tee is being held September 24-30 and will be televised internationally on the Golf Channel September 28-30.

The PURE Insurance Championship is the only event of its kind in which 81 junior golfers from The First Tee are teamed with 81 PGA TOUR Champions players and 162 amateurs during an official PGA TOUR Champions tournament.

Kenzel will be competing for the pro-junior title. She will join 80 other participants from The First Tee chapters, selected by a national panel of judges.

The participants, which represent 22 states, were selected based on playing ability and application of the Nine Core Values and life skills learned through their involvement with The First Tee’s programs.

The junior field was announced live on Golf Channel’s Morning Drive. Kenzel, her family, fellow participants from The First Tee, volunteers and board members gathered together at Pinehurst Country Club to watch.

Hoping for a positive outcome, but prepared to support Kenzel and celebrate her achievements, the group anxiously awaited the announcement for the Central Atlantic Region.

When Jaclyn’s name appeared on the TV monitor, the room was filled with cheers, smiles and hugs. Kenzel’s immediate reaction was elation, her hands raise into the air, and her smile stretched from ear to ear.

She expressed, “I am so blessed to be surrounded by an amazing group of supporters at The First Tee. What an amazing opportunity this is going to be. I can’t wait to go to California this September.”

Kenzel, a participant in The First Tee since 2007, fell in love with the game of golf on a putting green at the age of 4. Since this first encounter, Jaclyn has become engaged in all the opportunities this game can offer.

Jaclyn has gone from a 5-year-old child, who simply wanted to beat her brother, in a game at The First Tee class, to a competitive junior player that strives to be one of the best in her age group.

photos courtesy of  The First Tee of the Sandhills

On the course, Jaclyn has posted several impressive finishes during the last year, including a T-3 in the 4A Girls’ State Championship and a T-8 at the Carolinas Junior Girls’ Championship.

While Jaclyn’s golf accomplishments shine in newspapers and at award banquets, her work that is done without public recognition is just as impressive.

A rising Junior at Pinecrest High School, she currently holds a 4.3636 GPA and is an active member of the National Honor Society. She balances school with several extracurricular activities, such as the Girls Golf Team, the Pinecrest Marching Band, and giving back in the community.

Kenzel spends her time volunteering in the community with the younger generations. She is an avid supporter of The First Tee of the Sandhills TARGET Program, which teaches 5 and 6-year-olds the game of golf in a fun engaging environment. She loves that this group of kids are simply there to have fun and cheer on each other’s successes.

Additionally, Jaclyn actively supports her church’s child care service and volunteers every year with the Moore County Special Olympics.

Speaking on behalf of The First Tee of the Sandhills, Coach Matt said, “We are thrilled for Jaclyn to have received selection into this year’s PURE Insurance Championship junior field. This event is truly an experience of a lifetime, and we are confident Jaclyn will represent our chapter proudly while taking away so many new life experiences, friendships and inspiration for her future.”

Feature photo: Jaclyn Kenzel and family gathered together at Pinehurst Country Club to watch the announcement of the junior field on the Golf Channel’s Morning Drive show.



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