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JTNC Has Been a Force at The First Tee Open

If you’re looking for a favorite in the Pro-Junior portion of the upcoming First Tee Open at Pebble Beach and Poppy Hills, you can start with someone from the Junior Tour of Northern California.

In the last few years, the JTNC has been a force to be reckoned with at the First Tee Open, which tees off Sept.13-18.

At the 2011 First Tee Open, then-JT NC member Casie Cathrea won the Pro-Junior portion of the First Tee Open playing with Ben Crenshaw. Two years later at the 2013 First Tee Open, then-JTNC member Michelle Xie of Palo Alto won the Pro-Junior with professional partner Kirk Triplett.


In 2014, JTNC Boys’ Player of the Year Joshua McCarthy and pro partner Peter Senior appeared to be a lock to win the title. He’d have to settle for runner-up, however, when  The First Tee of Tucson member Christopher Meyers pulled off one of the greatest shots on the historic 18th hole at Pebble Beach—a double-eagle from 203 yards out—to give him and pro partner Lee Janzen the victory.

Prior to Meyers’ miracle, McCarthy was already in the clubhouse with a day-low 64 that had pushed him and Senior to a total of 20-under 195. The tandem of fellow JTNC member Katie Horsford and pro Steve Elkington were also in at 195, but McCarthy would’ve won the tiebreaker due to having the lower round.

At last year’s First Tee Open, it was JTNC member Jack Avrit’s turn at the top. Avrit would win playing with pro partner Mark O’Meara, who’s also known as the “Prince of Pebble Beach” due to having won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am a record five times.

When this year’s First Tee Open gets underway, another eight JTNC members will have a chance at hoisting a trophy at Pebble Beach. Here’s the eight JTNC players in this year’s field:

  • Emily Dixon (First Tee of Greater Sacramento)
  • Cathering Batang (First Tee of San Francisco)
  • Isabelle Castro (First Tee of Silicon Valley)
  • Neeve Chen (First Tee of Greater Sacramento)
  • Misa Church (First Tee of Contra Costa)
  • Beah Cruz (First Tee of Greater Sacramento)
  • Grant Leppek (First Tee of Greater Sacramento)
  • Madeline Zunino (First Tee of San Joaquin)
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