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St. Francis High golfer Xu to play in First Tee Open


The First Tee of Silicon Valley is sending three golfers – including St. Francis High’s Nancy Xu – to compete in this weekend’s 2013 Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach. The Champions Tour event, scheduled Friday through Sunday, will be televised internationally on Golf Channel.

Xu (from Sunnyvale), Michelle Xie (Palo Alto) and Bryan Yan (Fremont) join 78 participants from First Tee chapters for the event, in its 10th year. A national panel of judges who evaluated playing ability, comprehension of life skills, character and education selected Xu, Xie and Yan from nearly 150 applicants.

“I was extremely excited and stunned when I heard I was accepted into the First Tee Open,” said Xu, a senior. “It was a dream that I have had for six or seven years; at the instant I received the acceptance email, I almost couldn’t believe that I had fulfilled that dream. I love the First Tee of Silicon Valley. For me, it will always represent a lot of the happy times I had as a little kid, playing in The First Tee golf team, having fun in the Girls’ Golf tournaments, and going as a group to watch The First Tee Open.”

Xu has been playing tournament golf for approximately six years. She took her initial First Tee of Silicon Valley class seven years ago at age 9, and, like Xie, has completed four of the five levels. She also is active in the American Junior Golf Association, through which she has established a fundraiser that benefits The First Tee of Silicon Valley.

Xu – who enjoys playing the piano and drawing in her spare time – said the money she raises “will not only support the funding of First Tee of Silicon Valley, but also make an impact on other juniors as well.” She added that the proceeds “will help juniors that are talented young men and women who have a desire to better their life through playing junior golf and earning a college golf scholarship.”

Xu and the other participants will be teamed with 81 Champions Tour players and 162 amateurs as they compete for the pro junior title at Pebble Beach Golf Links and Del Monte Golf Course. Play will be conducted on Pebble Beach Golf Links and Del Monte Golf Course on Friday and Saturday, and the final round is set for Sunday on Pebble Beach.

Executive Director George Maxe was excited by the news that The First Tee of Silicon Valley – one of 188 chapters around the country and in select international locations – is among only a handful of chapters with more than one representative.

“We’re thrilled to have Michelle, Nancy and Bryan playing in this year’s tournament,” he said. “All three are longtime participants of The First Tee of Silicon Valley and excellent representatives of our organization and all that it represents – core values, exceptional character, good etiquette and adherence to the rules of golf.”

For more information on the event, visit thefirstteeopen.com.

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