Pinecrest High School seniors awarded 2014 U.S. Kids Golf Foundation volunteer scholarships


VILLAGE OF PINEHURST, N.C. (June 27, 2014) — A pair of enthusiastic and devoted student volunteers were recently awarded U.S. Kids Golf Foundation Volunteer Scholarships.

Three weeks later they were logging numerous unpaid hours on Pinehurst’s legendary No. 2 course during the historic back-to-back U.S. Opens.

These two rising college freshmen are volunteers extraordinaire.

Dr. Richard Lawson, Volunteer Chairman for the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship, presented the scholarships to Pinecrest High School seniors Savannah Thompson and James Halligan shortly before graduation. This marks the fifth year that these scholarships have been awarded for exceptional citizenship, community service, willingness to serve as a volunteer and extra-curricular activities.

And though it is not a requirement for the scholarship, both Thompson and Halligan have been loyal U.S. Kids Golf volunteers in the past years.

Thompson, of Seven Lakes, will use her $750 scholarship at UNC-Pembroke, where she will study Mass Communications and join the golf team. Her U.S. Open volunteer experience was one that most teens would dream about.

“I had the opportunity to be the standard bearer for Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth and Phil Mickleson in the practice round,” she said, “and I also had the amazing chance to walk with the last group as a standard bearer on Sunday. It was a great experience being able to watch Martin Kaymer make his last putt on the 18th hole.”

N.C. State University is Halligan’s college choice, and his $750 scholarship will help him study Computer Engineering. James is from Pinehurst, and he was also a standard bearer during the Opens.

“I’ve met so many interesting people through golf and consider myself fortunate to have been granted the opportunity to volunteer for the U.S. Opens, the U.S. Amateurs, U.S. Kids Golf and many other tournaments hosted at Pinehurst,” Halligan said. “Though I’m not a great golfer myself, the sport has proven that it still has a lot to give me.”

Since 2006, Atlanta-based U.S. Kids Golf has held the World Championship on 12 of the Pinehurst area courses. More than local 700 volunteers help with the event each August.

Chris Vonderkall, Vice President of Tournaments for U.S. Kids Golf, had great things to say about the Sandhills area volunteers and the scholarship winners.

“Through these Foundation scholarships, we are able to pay tribute to the countless hard-working volunteers from the local area, because without them, the World Championship would not be possible,” said Vonderkall. “I congratulate Savannah and James because they certainly represent the giving nature of the folks around the Pinehurst area.”