PALO ALTO, CA. (July 6, 2023) – Megan Meng of Pennington, New Jersey, and Cooper Groshart of San Luis Obispo, California, won the girls’ and boys’ divisions of the third annual First Tee National Championship at Stanford Golf Course. The event, July 2 to 6, brought together First Tee’s elite golfers for an opportunity to showcase how the program has helped build the strength of character needed to play at the next level.
Meng is a 16-year-old rising senior at Hopewell Valley Central High School who’s been involved with First Tee for more than 10 years. She finished the 54-hole tournament 5-under-par to win by five strokes. In the final round, Meng shot a tournament low 66 – including a front nine 30 – to secure her victory.
In 2022, Meng won another marquee First Tee event, the PURE Insurance Championship pro-junior title, a PGA TOUR Champions event held at Pebble Beach, shooting a 64 on Sunday. Meng – who currently stands at 27th in the AJGA Girls Rankings – is committed to play golf at Northwestern University. Off the course, she’s an avid reader with a 4.0 GPA.
Meng said the life skills she’s learned through First tee helped her this week. “Practice makes better, and practice definitely gets you where you want to go, so it’s all about how much time you’re willing to put in practicing on the course, but also make sure to have fun with it. Golf is a game for fun and spending time with your friends,” she said.
Groshart, 18, finished in the Top 10 at the 2021 and 2022 First Tee National Championships before winning in this, his third and final attempt. He finished the tournament 4-over-par after shooting a final round 71.
Groshart recently graduated from San Luis Obispo High School with a 3.92 GPA and will play golf this fall at California State University, East Bay. Like Meng, Groshart played at the 2022 PURE Insurance Championship, where he hit a hole-in-one on the iconic seventh hole during a practice round.
In 2022, Groshart completed nearly 100 community service hours, and as a junior First Tee coach, Groshart said he learned a lot about perseverance – a quality that certainly came in handy on Stanford’s challenging course.
“This week I’ve just made a ton of friends and seen old friends I don’t get to see that often,” Groshart said. Sportsmanship is one of the First Tee life skill he called on this week, he said. “This tournament feels like everyone is friends. Everyone is out here for a good time. We want to play some good golf too, but it’s a bunch of friends hanging out on the golf course.”
Both winners were awarded with the Tattersall Cup in honor of event Chairman Fred Tattersall.
Two players from the First Tee National Championship field were also awarded a one-time exemption into the PGA TOUR Champions’ PURE Insurance Championship Impacting the First Tee, held at Pebble Beach Golf Links September 16-24, 2023. With this year’s National Championship winners having already played in the tournament, the exemptions passed on to Alaythia Hinds of First Tee – Greater Sacramento, who finished second among the girls, and Sean Kwok of First Tee – Tri Valley, who finished in a tie for fourth among the boys.
For the first time, the four lowest scoring eligible players (two boys and two girls) from the National Championship field will also earn admission into the PGA TOUR’s new Pathways to Progression program, which aims to support talented golfers from backgrounds that are traditionally underrepresented in the sport. The PGA TOUR will announce the full roster for its Pathways program, including the four players who earned their spots at the First Tee National Championship, in the coming days.
“Congratulations to everyone who competed in the third annual First Tee National Championship this week, “said Greg McLaughlin, First Tee CEO. “Especially to Megan and Cooper. They represented First Tee with confidence and poise, and we look forward to seeing all that they continue to accomplish on and off the golf course. Thank you to Fred Tattersall for his ongoing support of this tournament and Stanford University for a memorable week.”
First Tee National Championship is held annually at various college golf courses around the nation providing First Tee participants the opportunity to network with others from across the country and take in the college experience. Stanford University hosted the third annual Championship, following the previous two years at University of Notre Dame’s Warren Golf Course and Clemson University’s The Walker Course, respectively.
The field included 24 boys and 24 girls, ages 14-18, who were selected based on their golf skills and competitive golf experience including 15 competitors who are currently committed to play collegiate golf. Players came from 29 First Tee chapters across the country. A full list of results is available here.
The National Championship is one of more than 10 national opportunities provided by First Tee headquarters to empower and motivate teens as they progress through the program and toward higher education opportunities. For more information on the tournament and First Tee, visit www.firsttee.org.
Megan Hart, First Tee