Denver resident Hunter Swanson ties for fifth in pro-junior portion of PURE Insurance Championship at Pebble Beach
By Gary Baines – 9/26/2021
Hunter Swanson of Denver and his PGA Tour Champions partners finished tied for fifth place overall out of 81 First Tee junior contestants in the pro-junior portion of the PURE Insurance Championship Impacting The First Tee that concluded on Sunday at Pebble Beach Golf Links in California.
Swanson partnered with two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen for the first two rounds of the nationally televised event and with New Zealand golfer Steven Alker for the third after Goosen missed the 36-hole professional cut. In the better-ball team competition, Swanson and his partners finished at 21 under par for three rounds (66-65-64), five strokes behind winner Sydney Craven.
In the boys division of the pro-junior, Swanson and his partners ended up in a three-way tie for second, two strokes back of champion Colin Vineburg.
Swanson was the 2020 Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado Boys Player of the Year and earlier this year he finished second in a playoff at both The First Tee National Championship and the Colorado Junior PGA Championship. He was also a quarterfinalist in the CGA Match Play Championship, runner-up in the AJGA Junior Open at The Bridges in Montrose and tied for fifth in the AJGA Hale Irwin Colorado Junior. The Northfield High School senior, who will play his college golf at the University of Colorado, is a fourth-year member of the CGA’s Hale Irwin Player Program. He was one of four players who represented Colorado at the Junior America’s Cup this year and he qualified for the U.S. Junior Amateur.
Another First Tee of GVR member, Kyle Leydon of Commerce City, also competed in the PURE Insurance Championship. Leydon teamed with fellow Coloradan Shane Bertsch for the pro-junior, but they missed the 36-hole team cut (65-70). Like Swanson, Leydon is part of the Hale Irwin Player Program; in his case, he’s in his third year. Leydon is a junior at Brighton High School.
First Tee kids were chosen for the PURE Insurance Championship “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 which aims to help young people learn life skills and build character through the game of golf.