Isabella Lohr was in for a big surprise earlier this year.
She met PGA TOUR player and First Tee alum Austin Smotherman during the AT&T Byron Nelson in May, where he told the 17-year-old from First Tee – Dallas that she was selected to play in the 2022 PURE Insurance Championship.
Isabella is one of 78 First Tee participants who will tee off at Pebble Beach during the tournament, which will take place Sept. 23-25, 2022 and airs on Golf Channel.
“It’s the greatest honor anyone could receive, playing at Pebble Beach,” she said.
The welcome news came after a tough time for Isabella. She lost her childhood friend Dylan Dorrell on August 13, 2020, at the age of 17. He collapsed at a cross country practice and died at the hospital from an undetected heart condition. She says it’s the hardest experience she’s had to overcome.
“Grief was an obstacle I was not ready to face in life. It was a tremendous loss for me personally as every fond memory I had as a child included him.”
Shortly after Dylan’s passing, his parents created a foundation, #runforDylan in his memory.
“We were all still grieving but watching his parents turn their grief into a positive helped me gain a different perspective on life’s purpose.”
Isabella decided she too would honor his memory. In addition to nine years with First Tee, Isabella has been involved with Girl Scouts for more than a decade and decided to focus her Gold Award Project on raising funds for the #runforDylan Foundation.
Her project focused on organizing an annual 5K fun run to build awareness and gain funds for the foundation. More than 800 people participated in the inaugural event on the morning of November 6, 2021, raising close to $25,000. The proceeds will help fund AEDs at local parks in the community.
First Tee is celebrating its 25th anniversary of teaching life skills through the game of golf. Follow the PURE Insurance Championship at PGATOUR.com.