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Budding Journalists Earn Press Credentials

David Pillsbury chats with Matthew Kopstein, Trey Woods and Sachi Hamada at the Northern Trust Open.
Chris Condon-PGA TOUR

February 16, 2011

By PGA TOUR Staff

PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif.—PGA TOUR players at the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club may have noticed a peppering of young faces sitting in this week’s press conferences. Closer examination will reveal three high school reporters among the seasoned scribes as all put pen to paper to capture newsworthy comments for later use. Not seen so clearly perhaps will be the bragging rights the trio will most certainly take back to their respective high schools next week.

Matthew Kopstein, Trey Woods and Sachi Hamada, budding journalists from The First Tee Course Reporters Program, received invitations from the PGA TOUR, the Tiger Woods Learning Center and The First Tee of South Los Angeles to serve as media members for two days during tournament week. The trio earned their press passes on the basis of academic achievement, golf experience and proven success in incorporating The First Tee values into their everyday lives. 

Sporting their official PGA TOUR media credentials Wednesday, they attended press conferences spotlighting TOUR players Corey Pavin and defending champion Steve Stricker.  Acclimating to a reporter’s busy schedule, they filled in their working hours with tournament administrators’ interviews, visits to the ShotLink scoring center, the Golf Channel’s production truck, the fitness trailers, the meteorology center and other behind-the-scenes areas typically accessible only to the media.

Hamada, a Tiger Woods Learning Center participant and a member of her Sunny Hills High School boys’ golf team in nearby Fullerton may have captured the exciting feeling for all three.


“Today was a dream come true for me,” she said. “I feel so lucky to be a part of this program and have the chance to see so many areas of the tournament that most people don’t get to see.  Everyone was very nice and took the time to speak with us. It was very special and something I will always remember.”

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