DON KETCHUM is a native of Phoenix. He was a sportswriter for The Arizona Republic/The Phoenix Gazette for nearly four decades. He covered high school sports on several occasions as well as the Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Cardinals and Arizona State sports. From 2008-14, he was a staff writer for, the web site of the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Gator golfer Menne part of prestigious tourney

Xavier Prep senior Ashley Menne, a three-time Division I individual state champion, will be in the international spotlight from Sept. 24-29 as she represents The First Tee of Phoenix in the PURE Insurance Championship Impacting The First Tee in Pebble Beach, Calif.

Ashley Menne, Xavier's 3-time D-I state champion. (Xavier photo).
Menne, who will study and play golf at Arizona State beginning in the fall of 2020, will be joined by two male golfers from the Valley – Scott Schlader of Phoenix Desert Vista in Ahwatukee and Cade Kilanowski of Gilbert Perry.

The 16th annual event will be televised internationally on the Golf Channel.

The participants feature 78 teen golfers from across the USA and they are paired with 78 PGA Tour Champions and 156 amateurs during an official PGA Tour Champions tournament.

Menne, Schlader and Kilanowski will compete for the Pro-Junior Team title. They will join 75 other participants from First Tee chapters across the country.

Tournament play will take place on the Pebble Beach Golf Links and Poppy Hills Golf Course on Sept. 27-28, with the finale solely at Pebble. In the finale, 23 First Tee juniors will compete based on 36-hole performances.

A national panel of judges selected the players based on their understanding and application of the values and life skills learned through First Tee’s programs as well as their playing ability.

The First Tee is a youth development organization dedicated to helping young people  build character through the game of golf.

Menne has been a member of The First Tee of Phoenix for nearly five years. The group has served in Maricopa County since 2001.

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