ORANGE PARK - Bishop Snyder High School junior golfer Matthew French has been selected as one of three area golfers to attend the 2021 PURE Insurance Championship impacting the First Tee tournament …
ORANGE PARK - Bishop Snyder High School junior golfer Matthew French has been selected as one of three area golfers to attend the 2021 PURE Insurance Championship impacting the First Tee tournament at fabled Pebble Beach Golf Course in California in September.
“It’s quite a thrill,” said French, 16, of Orange Park, a scratch level golfer that has improved from a 10 handicap just seven years ago when he started to hit golf balls. “I will be playing five days of golf with a golf pro on the Champions Tour which is the PGA Tour for 50 year olds. I will pair up with a Champions PGA player and two
other amateur players for our rounds of golf.”
French made a region run as a freshman at Bishop Snyder with a 75 at districts and has been team MVP for the past two years. His best game was a (-3) 68 at the NAS Jax Golf Course in summer 2021.
For the spring and summer, French finished third in May at the Titleist Invitational at St. Johns Golf Club with a recent 74/77 (151) ninth place finished at the North Florida Junior Golf championships at the King and Bear at World Golf Village July 5-6.
“Angelo Collins is a pro golf teacher at the Navy base that has been my primary coach away from school,” said French, with a best 18 hole finish of 68. “I’ve played on the the Players Championship Sawgrass course, but Pebble Beach is almost iconic. It will be a tough course. We’ll see. My short games; putting and chipping, are my strengths. I hit a consistent driver just under 300 yards.”
French joins two other players; Grace Richards, a Flagler College freshman out of Nease High School, and Madelyn Campbell, a Fernandina Beach senior.
According to Jeff Willoughby, of The First Tee North Florida, the trio will be playing for a Pro-Junior Team title with 78 other First Tee teens nationwide competing.
This year’s field of PGA TOUR Champions players will feature World Golf Hall of Fame Members Bernhard Langer, Mark O’Meara, Vijay Singh, as well as three-time PURE Insurance Championship winners Kirk Triplett and Jeff Sluman. Clint Eastwood serves as chairman of the PURE Insurance Championship.
Play will be conducted on Pebble Beach Golf Links and Spyglass Hill Golf Course on Friday and Saturday.The final round will be contested solely at Pebble Beach Golf Links on Sunday, where 23First 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.