Local Teens Selected to Play in Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach!

Yakima, WA (July 6, 2016) – The First Tee of Yakima is sending Dylan Bissell and Max Turnquist to compete in the 2016 Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach. The prestigious tournament is an official PGA TOUR Champions event that will be held September 13-18, 2016. The Golf Channel will televised the event  internationally.


“At Nature Valley we have great admiration for the mission of The First Tee. The program has such a meaningful impact in the lives of young people by strengthening important values like responsibility, judgement and perseverance. The opportunity for these teenagers to be selected as a part of The First Tee has the power to transform lives,” said Carla Vernón at General Mills. “The teenagers selected to play in the Nature Valley First Tee Open, including Bissell and Turnquist, have worked hard to prepare for this opportunity, and we are immensely proud to welcome them to this year’s tournament.”

A national panel of judges evaluated applicants on their playing ability and comprehension of the life skills and character education of The First Tee program. Both Dylan and Max scored extremely well.

The juniors will be teamed with 81 PGA TOUR Champions players and 162 amateurs as they compete for the pro-junior title at Pebble Beach Golf Links and Poppy Hills Golf Course. Play will be conducted on these courses on Friday and Saturday, with the final round being played at Pebble Beach. Pro players include two-time major championship winner John Daly, World Golf Hall of Fame member and 28-time PGA TOUR Champions winner, Bernhard Langer, and defending champion, Esteban Toledo.


Both Bissell and Turnquist have been golfing since toddlers, and began participating at The First Tee of Yakima in 2008. This year, Turnquist  placed First in the 14-15 age bracket in two Washington Junior Golf Association sub district tournaments. He placed 7th at the Rocky Mountain Junior Tour Chambers Bay Tournament, and finished 41st out of 80 as a sophomore at the 4A State Tournament. He currently holds a .5 handicap. Bissell has traveled a bit this year, finishing 20th out of 105 in the Junior World Golf Qualifier in Tumwater, WA, and 3rd at a the Maple Leaf Golf Tour Tournament in Calgary, Canada.

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He also competed in the PGA US Open Qualifier at Suncadia in July, finishing 33rd out of a field of 136. Bissell finished 19th at the 4A State Championship, and has a .4 handicap.

“In my four years here, I have watched these boys grow into confident young men, fully dedicated to the Core Values of The First Tee. As junior coaches, role models, and high school golfers, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone comparable,” says chapter executive director, Christina McCarthy. “They were both so fun to interview for their applications, bubbling with excitement at the thought of being selected. I can’t wait to see them this week!”


Just a couple hours after the announcement, Dylan Bissell shared his thoughts on being selected for the honor. "This means the world to me. I have been wanting to play Pebble Beach for a long time, ever since I can remember, actually. I am so thankful to The First Tee of Yakima for giving me this opportunity! I'm honored to be chosen."

Max Turnquist awoke to his father yelling, “You’re going to Pebble Beach!”  Max shared, “I was so excited to hear I was going to represent The First Tee of Yakima! And to go to Pebble Beach with one of my best friends! It's like a dream come true… and I can't wait until September!!! To walk the same course as the legends - it's really a dream come true!!!!”