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First Tee Champions Challenge returns to ACE Group Classic

December 15, 2015

NAPLES, Fla. – The ACE Group Classic seeks to engage young golfers by inviting several First Tee Chapters from throughout the country to participate in a three-day golf competition at the TwinEagles Club in Naples, Fla. during the ACE Group Classic, February 9 – 14, 2016. On behalf of the Naples, Marco Island, Convention and Visitors Bureau, 18 First Tee participants (two participants from nine different chapters) have been invited to participate in the Golf to Paradise – First Tee Champions Challenge.

"We are excited to expand the First Tee Champions Challenge in its second year to nine teams, representing the nine core values of The First Tee,” said Tournament Director Matt Hilliker. “With the help of the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau, we hope to continue growing the game of golf and instill the First Tee’s core values in youth across America and right here in the Naples community.”

The nine Chapters participating in the Challenge will be traveling from across the country from the following markets: The First Tee of Naples/Collier, The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia, The First Tee of Northwest Arkansas, The First Tee of Pittsburgh, The First Tee of the Triangle, The First Tee of Chicago, The First Tee of West Michigan, The First Tee of Greater New York and The First Tee of Roanoke Valley.

Teams will play nine holes each of the three days with a different format every day. On Friday, the groups will play in a scramble, followed by a modified alternate shot on Saturday, and finishing out the weekend playing a better ball format on Sunday. Total score upon completion of all three formats will determine our winners at this year’s First Tee Champions Challenge.

“We are very excited to once again sponsor the First Tee Champions Challenge as part of the ACE Group Classic. These young golfers are the future of the game of golf in the US and their skills and dedication to the game are a real inspiration to golfers of all ages,” Jack Wert, Executive Director, Marco Island, Everglades CVB.  “We heard wonderful comments from last year’s participants about the great tips and friendship they received from the pros met and played with. We wish all the First Tee participants great success in this year’s event.”

In 2015, Wade Schaller and Hanna Brauburger both 18, of Bentonville, Ark. representing First Tee of Northwest Arkansas, won a four-hole tournament to play Wednesday's ACE Group Classic Official Pro-Am.

The ACE Group Classic will be hosted at TwinEagles Golf Club on February 9-15. This PGA TOUR Champions event has been held since 1988, and will feature 81 of the world’s best players battling for a $1.6 million purse.

For more information on tickets and events please visit www.theacegroupclassic.com.

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