By TONIA HILL
Abdel Raoul, a student at Mount Carmel High School, 6410 S. Dante Ave., will compete in the 2017 PURE Insurance Championship, an official PGA (Professional Golfers Association) TOUR Champions event to be contested at Pebble Beach Golf Links and Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach, Calif.
“Being only the third person to be given the opportunity to represent The First Tee of Greater Chicago at Pebble Beach is one of the greatest achievements of my life thus far. I am truly honored to have been selected,” said Raoul in a written statement.
The competition will be held the week of September 19-24, 2017. The tournament, which is hosted by the Monterey Peninsula Foundation, will be televised internationally on Golf Channel.
Raoul, who is a part of The First Tee of Greater Chicago, is one of 80 other participants from The First Tee chapters, selected by a national panel of judges.
Participants were selected based on their playing ability, and comprehension of the life skills that were gained through their involvement with The First Tee.
The junior golfers will be teamed with 81 PGA TOUR Champions players and 162 amateurs as they compete for the pro-junior title at Pebble Beach and Poppy Hills.
Raoul, who is 16, will be a junior this fall at Mount Carmel. He is an Eagle Level participant and has been involved in The First Tee programming for seven years.
“I am very excited that Abdel has this honor to represent The First Tee of Greater Chicago at this very prestigious event, said Cole Hyland, senior program director at The First Tee in a written statement. “Abdel exhibits the Nine Core Values on a daily basis. He set a goal to go to The First Tee Open at age 10, and it has been a privilege to watch him achieve this goal 6 years later.”
He has attended other national events including Nancy Tenant Leadership Academy in Benton Harbor, Mich., and the Golf to Paradise First Tee Challenge at the Chubb Classic in Naples, Fla., where he and his partner took first place in the tournament.
Last month he was selected to attend the First Tee National Golf Academy in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Raoul also has a passion for helping those in need. He spends time outside of golf volunteering at the Chicago Food Depository, Feed My Starving Children and Catholic Charities.
The First Tee is a youth development initiative of the World Golf Foundation supported by the Masters Tournament, LPGA, PGA of America, PGA TOUR, and the United States Golf Association. There are nearly 200 chapters of The First Tee located nationwide and internationally.
The First Tee has two locations on the South Side one at South Shore Golf Course and another at the Jackson Park Driving Range.