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Coca-Cola Champions Challenge

Contributing Blogger: Emily Laskin, participant, The First Tee of Greater Sacramento

Before being selected to the Nature Valley First Tee Open, I had never heard of the Coca Cola Challenge. I first found out about it when my mom called me on the way home from a lesson with my coach. When I heard I was one of only six juniors to get to be paired with a Champions Tour Pro, different from the Pro I would be playing with, I was ecstatic. I would get to play with TWO Pros this week! When I told our chapter’s Executive Director I was chosen to participate, she was so excited for me; I was the first junior from our chapter to ever be picked. It made the experience that much more meaningful. I wanted to play well to earn winnings for my chapter; our chapter is one of the largest chapters in the country, and we do all our own fundraising for our golf programs. I knew how much it would mean to bring home some more funds.

When Thursday arrived, I spent the day warming up, trying to keep my excitement under control. At 1:30 the juniors met on the putting green to go over the format and find out our playing partners. That’s when the nerves came. When we came up to the tee it was incredible seeing Ted Schulz, Hale Irwin, Scott Simpson, Craig Stadler, Jeff Sluman, and Tom Kite waiting for us. When my name was called to the tee, I was so nervous I missed my drive in the right hand side trees. But walking down the fairway with all the pros laughing and joking helped settle my nerves in an instant. We enjoyed 5 holes of an amazing time at the wonderful Pebble Beach Golf Course. The entire experience was made worthwhile when I stuck our third shot to 10 feet on 18 for Scott Simpson to roll in for us to win $8,000 each for our chapters. It was an amazing time that I will never forget.

Video Highlights

Click “read more” for the challenge results.


  • Hole 1: Hale Irwin & Anthony Madrid won with a birdie-3, Irwin making a 15-foot putt ($4,000 to each charity)
  • Hole 2: Halved with birdie-4s (carryover)
  • Hole 3: Tom Kite & Harley Dubsky won with a birdie-3, Kite making 20-foot putt ($8,000 to each charity)
  • Hole 17: Halved with par-3s (carryover)
  • Hole 18: Scott Simpson & Emily Laskin won with a birdie-4, Simpson making 10-foot putt ($8,000 to each charity)

Charity Purse Breakdown

Pro The First Tee Chapter Earnings Junior The First Tee Chapter  Earnings
Hale Irwin Phoenix
Anthony Madrid San Joaquin
Ted Schulz Louisville
Marc Moreno Monterey County
Scott Simpson San Diego
Emily Laskin Greater Sacramento
Craig Stadler Denver$0 Alexander Shattuck South Dakota
Jeff Sluman Chicago
Savannah Thompson The Sandhills
Tom Kite Austin
Harley Dubsky Valparaiso

Emily with the six other participants representing their chapters of The First Tee in the Coca-Cola Champions Challenge. Photo Credit: Chris Condon/PGA TOUR


2 Responses

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    I’m absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.

  2. Greetings! Quick question that’s completely off topic.
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