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St. Joseph Golfers Take on California

Ariel+view+of+the+Pebble+Beach+Golf+course+that+Dirlam+and+Rooker+will+play+on
Ariel view of the Pebble Beach Golf course that Dirlam and Rooker will play on

Ariel view of the Pebble Beach Golf course that Dirlam and Rooker will play on

Stephen Szurlej

Stephen Szurlej

Ariel view of the Pebble Beach Golf course that Dirlam and Rooker will play on

Nadia Judge, Staff Writer

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This year, two of SJHS’s golfers will be taking their talents to the West Coast for an amazing opportunity. Through the First Tee of Benton Harbor, Junior Cailey Rooker and Senior Mason Dirlam have been invited to Pebble Beach Golf Course to participate in the PURE Insurance Championship.  Along with Lakeshore’s senior Logan Essig, they will travel to California and play golf from September 19th to September 24th. Their tournament will be broadcasted on the NBC golf channel on September 22nd, 23rd, and 24th from 3-6 pm.

Amy Dirlam
Dirham posing for a photo before a big golf match

Rooker and Dirlam  have been playing golf with the First Tee program since they were twelve and eight years old respectively.  They are both now mentors to the young golfers every summer. “The First Tee has taught me how to be a presentable young man. I have learned how to handle all sorts of things, from first impressions and job interviews, to learning how to write an acceptable application to play at Pebble Beach,” said Dirlam. “Ever since I was young, First Tee has been a second home and my second family.”

This program will have a huge impact on my future,” said Rooker. “The biggest thing I’ve gained are the connections. I have met people I would’ve never thought of meeting through golf.”  Because she plans on playing golf in college, this is an important opportunity for her exposure.  Rooker’s childhood dream has always been to play at the University of North Carolina, but she can’t wait to see where she’ll end up. “I am currently in the recruitment process, so this will be the year I hope to commit to one of my top schools.”

Although they are nervous, Dirlam and Rooker are excited about their families coming to support them.  “I’m looking forward to having my family there with me and most of all playing at Pebble Beach. Not many golfers in their life would be able to say they had an opportunity like mine. I am truly so thankful,” said Rooker.

Stephen Szurlej
Ariel view of the Pebble Beach Golf course that Dirlam and Rooker will play on

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St. Joseph Golfers Take on California