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Hobnobbing with the pros

First Tee sends Aubrey Daschel-Lloyd to Pebble Beach


by: JOHN DENNY - Milwaukie 5-year-old Kayleigh Rebecca Rothman (right) was at The Childrens Course in Gladstone in late June, when Aubrey Daschel-Lloyd stopped by to help her with her putting. Kayleigh was at the course with her grandfather Don Anderson, who brought her to the course to play her very first round of golf.Milwaukie 17-year-old Aubrey Daschel-Lloyd is at one of the nation's most prestigious golf courses this week, hobnobbing with some of the nation's top golf professionals, thanks to The First Tee of Greater Portland.

Daschel-Lloyd is among only 81 junior golfers from around the nation who was selected to play in the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links and Del Monte Golf Course. Daschel-Lloyd will be paired with a yet-to-be-announced professional in the tournament, which runs Friday through Sunday.

"To be be selected to play on one of the top courses in the country, where the U.S. Open has been played, and to meet some of the top pros, it's just an amazing opportunity," said Daschel-Lloyd. "I heard about this tournament when I first started with First Tee, and how great an experience it is. It's been a goal of mine for a long time to make this trip...."

Daschel-Lloyd got his introduction to the game of golf when he attended a First Tee camp at The Children's Course in Gladstone at five years of age. He fell in love with the sport and he's been a part of First Tee ever since, taking classes for the past nine years, and helping others learn the game.

"First Tee is more than about learning to play golf," said Daschel-Lloyd. "It's about teaching life values through the game of golf. You learn eight core values - respect, responsibility, confidence, courtesy, honesty, integrity, perseverance, sportsmanship and judgment....

"As you progress with the program you start to give back. I love coming back and helping 5 to 8-year-olds learn to play golf, and giving them the same opportunity that I've had. It's the coolest thing I've ever done."

Daschel-Lloyd has worked special needs camps for the visibly impaired, and he's helped out with the Safeway Classic and Pro-Am, setting up for the tournament, serving as caddy and standard bearer, and playing with professional Allison Hanna in the Pro-Am.

Daschel-Lloyd attended a First Tee Leadership Academy at Arizona State University last year, and he's attended the Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy Camp in South Carolina.

And Daschel-Lloyd is not a bad golfer. He sports a 4.2 handicap and he averages 76 to 77 for 18 holes. He says the best part of his game is putting.

His lowest score was a 68 at Gearhart Golf Links, and he says his favorite course is Waverley Country Club.

"I like the links style - big bunkers and large greens," he says.

Daschel-Lloyd says of his goals: "to play college golf; and later in life, I want to do something in the area of coaching. I'm really good in math. Maybe I can teach math and coach golf...."

Daschel-Lloyd has a job at Stone Creek Golf Club this summer, working in the cart barn and picking up balls on the practice range.

When he's not doing something related to the game of golf, you'll find Daschel-Lloyd practicing basketball. He was a part of Milwaukie High School's basketball team that made the Class 5A state final last winter.

Come this fall, he'll returned for his senior year at Milwaukie High School, and he'll renew his focus on basketball.

"We've graduated some top players and it will be a tough test, because everyone looks at us as a power now," Daschel-Lloyd said. "But I still think we'll be good. Seven of us seniors coming back have played together since sixth grade...."