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NORTON, Massachusetts – While South Hadley native Richy Werenski will log thousands of miles during the 2019 golf season, his third straight season as a competitor on the PGA Tour, the former Mass Golf champion will keep a part of the Bay State with him along the way after pledging to continue his commitment to local golf initiatives that are focused on growing the game.
Prior to the holidays, the 27-year old Werenski announced that he had continued his selection of The First Tee of Massachusetts junior golf initiative as his charity of choice for the PGA Tour’s MetLife Matchup, a partnership between the Tour and MetLife that donates $15,000 at select tournaments throughout the year to the charity of the player who records the best recovery shot as decided on by fans throughout the year.
Since April 2017, the MetLife Matchup has recognized the pros who best utilize their skills and experience to navigate the TOUR’s most demanding holes and adapt to challenging situations, according to the press release that announced that deal. The broadcast feature is designed to engage fans around the world in a season-long contest whose winner is only determined at the end of a season of challenging holes and courses.
Each weekend at select events broadcast by CBS, the two players who best navigate challenging situations will be recognized. Those two players will then be highlighted on PGATOUR.COM/MetLife and compete head-to-head in the weekly MetLife MatchUp, where fans worldwide can cast votes for the shot they feel was best navigated.
In addition to the $15,000 donated by MetLife each week to the charity of the golfer deemed to have achieved the best recovery shot, each weekly winner will be added to the nomination for Recovery Shot of the Year. At the end of the season, one winner will be selected as the MetLife Matchup champion, who will then receive an additional $750,000 towards their charity.
For Werenski, who won the 2013 Mass Golf Four-Ball Championship with his brother Mickey before turning professional a year later, the decision for his charity of choice was one that didn’t require much thought.
He said, “The nine core values and nine healthy habits that The First Tee emphasizes not only teach children how to succeed in golf but how to succeed in life. It was a very easy decision for me to select The First Tee of Massachusetts as the charity of my choice.”
As the official charitable organization of Mass Golf, The First Tee of Massachusetts has six program locations throughout the Bay State – including at its headquarters at The Links at Mass Golf in Norton, at D.W. Field GC in Brockton, William J. Devine Golf Course at Franklin Park in Dorchester, Fenway Golf in East Longmeadow, Hyannis Golf Course and at Kohr Golf in Natick.
He added, “I truly believe that without the competitive opportunities and the incredible support and encouragement I received throughout my junior and amateur careers from everyone at Mass Golf, I would not have been able to achieve my goal of getting to the PGA Tour.”
While he hasn’t been chosen as a MetLife MatchUp recipient in either of his first two seasons on the PGA Tour, when he had also selected The First Tee of Massachusetts as his charity of choice, Werenski says that he continues to look forward to the opportunity of raising more funds for The First Tee of Massachusetts in the year ahead.
“Even though I’m hoping not to get myself into too much trouble on the course, knowing that MetLife has given me the opportunity to help a cause that is so important to me, will definitely give me a lot of extra inspiration to pull off those recovery shots.”
With programming in all 50 states, The First Tee organization’s mission is to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf.