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Guests enjoy incredible golf at Tiger Woods Invitational

Event featured three days of golf competition, sports talk and fun
Alonzo Mourning shares a laugh with Tiger Woods Invitational participants. Alonzo Mourning shares a laugh with Tiger Woods Invitational participants.

Pebble Beach, home to some of the most picturesque golf courses in the world, welcomed 112 Tiger Woods Foundation guests to the Tiger Woods Invitational presented by USLI.

The event featured three days of golf competition, sports talk, a friendly game of poker and a whole lot of fun. Held Oct. 16-18, the amateur golf outing began at Spyglass Hill Golf Course, with Team Lone Cypress setting the pace by shooting a low round of 65 to race ahead of the competition and claim the coveted first-place standing.

Tuesday evening during dinner, guests were treated to an appearance by ESPN sportscaster and anchor Stuart Scott along with Miami Heat legend Alonzo Mourning, who spent time discussing sports -- including the NBA -- while answering questions from guests. Poker legend Phil Hellmuth then welcomed a handful of guests who were up for the challenge of joining him for a "friendly" game of poker.

Day 2, held at Monterey Peninsula Country Club, opened with an exhibition hosted by Tiger Woods. During his clinic, guests eagerly listened as Woods discussed his warm-up routine, reminisced about playing golf with his dad, demonstrated some of his swing techniques and entertained questions from the crowd. The weather was sunny and clear, as guests then headed out for Day 2 of the tournament. It was an exciting second round, as Team Lone Cypress took the 36-hole lead heading into the final day.

After the second round of golf, guests were treated to a formal dinner that included both a live and silent auction. Tiger Woods Foundation President & CEO Greg McLaughlin welcomed guests before introducing USLI Chairman, President & CEO Tom Nerney as well as the evening's keynote speaker, Grace Lee, one of the Foundation's incredible, first-generation Earl Woods Scholars. Grace shared with the audience her journey -- how she transformed from a 12-year-old immigrant to a computer scientist at NASA.

"When I entered college, I relished the thought of living on my own," Grace said. "But then there was the issue of actually paying for college that haunted me day and night. As an immigrant on a special visa, I couldn't apply for many of the loans and scholarships that required a social security number. The Earl Woods Scholarship was one of the rare scholarships that allowed a student like me to even be considered. When I was chosen as an Earl Woods Scholar, I was happy for the large amount of money for college but never imagined the other, in some respect, more important benefits that had nothing to do with tuition. I hope my story serves as an example of how success can happen to anyone when they are given the love, support and mentorship that I was given throughout college by the Tiger Woods Foundation."

After a rousing standing ovation from the guests, Grace then introduced event host Tiger Woods to say a few words. Woods spoke to the audience about the importance of providing young people with the resources and opportunities needed to get to college.

"Everyone deserves to have the same resources and opportunities to succeed, and Grace is a prime example of what kids can do if given those opportunities," Woods said. "At the Foundation, we are helping kids realize their dreams and making them a reality. We are making a difference in the lives of millions of young people around the country and, eventually, the world."

The auctioneer then took to the stage, as guests waved their auction paddles, bidding on incredible, all-inclusive golf packages and deluxe vacation destinations.

Day 3 began at the famed Pebble Beach Golf Links and ended in a fitting manner with Team Momentum -- made up of USLI guests and representatives -- shooting a final-round 70 to take home the Tiger Woods Invitational trophy. In second place and just two shots back was Team Big Sur, followed by Team Lone Cypress in third.

On behalf of Tiger Woods, the Tiger Woods Foundation and all the scholars we serve, thank you to presenting sponsor USLI, Northwestern Mutual, MGM Resorts International and each guest for supporting this event and the college-access programs of the Tiger Woods Foundation. With their support, the Tiger Woods Foundation raised approximately $600,000 for its programs.