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Originally posted July 2, 2012
TULSA, Oklahoma - Getting the news was a little overwhelming at first. Then, Eric Moore whipped out his cell phone to fire off some important text messages.
"It will probably bring tears to my dad's eyes," said Moore. "I want to make him proud."
It's hard not to be proud of Moore and 16-year-old Marla Souvannasing's recent accomplishment. Both Green Country teens have been selected to play in a professional tournament this week on one of the greatest golf courses in the world: Pebble Beach.
"I hope to hit a lot of greens," said Souvannasing, an incoming junior at Union High School. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
The duo will play alongside pro players on the Champions Tour in the First Tee Nature Valley Open, July 6-8. The teenagers are going to the event because they were nominated by members of their junior golf program, First Tee.
"She's going to have a great time. She's going to have a wonderful time with the pro she plays with," First Tee of Tulsa's executive director Janice Gibson said of Marla.
"It's the experience of a lifetime."
Moore has been with the program for around five years. He's shooting in the low to mid-70s and drives the ball over 300 yards.
"Eric hits it a mile," said Gibson, who teaches the two golfers at Mohawk Park Golf Course in Tulsa. "We're excited for him to experience this. He's getting ready to go to college next year. To be at Pebble Beach for a whole week – what can you say?"
Moore plays for Memorial High School, and has aspirations of making a Division-I golf team. For him, a chance to bounce questions off of proven PGA winners is a priceless gift.
Souvannasing, still a few years away her from college golf dreams, hopes to learn from the pro in her group as well.
"Meeting the pros," she said when asked what the best part of the experience would be. "You see them on TV every day. It's really cool."