The 2014 Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach is this weekend, Sept. 26 through 28 and at least one local golfer will be on the links. Fans and spectators will be treated to viewing celebrities, pro golfers, most likely enjoy great weather and also get to see local golf phenom, Mabel Wong.
Wong is a 17-year-old Oakdale High School senior who has been playing golf since the age of 10. Her discipline, work ethic and determination have earned her a spot to play in the televised tournament.
“I was at a golf tournament in North Carolina at the end of July when I got the invite. After I finished my round, the First Tee director presented me with an invite for the tournament, which was televised on Golf Channel and the feeling was unreal,” said an excited Wong. “Even though it has been about two months the excitement hasn’t gone away, I can’t wait to play.”
Wong has several supporters, approximately three Greyhound buses full, of her friends, family, and First Tee Program members that will be there to root her on.
“It makes me a little nervous knowing that many people are there to cheer me on, but I don’t want to disappoint or let anyone down. I am going to do my best and have fun,” said Wong.
Perhaps her biggest supporters are her family including father, Sunny and her mother Kwong, and her older brother, Danny. Danny played three years ago at the same tournament and is currently enrolled at UCLA.
“My family is amazing. My parents have worked so hard to help give me and my brother the lives we have. They have made sure that Danny and I are successful. I owe them all the thanks in the world for supporting me,” Wong pointed out. “I would also like to thank all of my teachers, friends, Coach Allan Ramorini and everyone else who helped me along the way because they have given me the confidence in myself to play.”
Wong got to put in for a pair of celebrities to shoot her rounds with, and she chose comedian George Lopez and Hollywood icon, Clint Eastwood. She will find out who she is paired with the day of the event. There is no admission fee for the event. For more information about tee times, call The Monterey Peninsula Foundation at (831) 649-1533 or log onto www.thefirstteeopen.com.