PARKERSBURG - Parkersburg South's Adeena Shears and Roane County's Cam Moore are joining elite company when the 17th Grand Final golf tournament makes it debut in the United States today at The Greenbrier.
The three-day event coincides with the Nick Faldo Series and features in upwards of 99 golfers from 19 countries ranging in age from 12 to 22. Only eight Americans are listed in the field, with three representing West Virginia. Joining Shears and Moore from the Mountain State is Wheeling's Thadd Obecny.
The tournament will be played at the Old White Course.
"When I received the invitation, it blew my mind," Moore said. "I don't normally think of myself being one of the top kids in any part of the nation, but I do feel I can compete with some of them."
Shears and Moore will compete in the 16-and-under age division. The tournament is divided into five age categories - three for boys and two for girls. The respective winners each receive a trophy and an exemption into the eighth Asia Grand Final in 2014.
The boy and girl with the best score following three 18-hole rounds also will be invited to play in a professional Tour event and the title of Faldo Series Champion will be awarded to the player with the lowest gross score - regardless of age or gender.
"I'm very excited for it, but I think my mom's more excited," Shears said. "I feel honored they invited me."
This past summer, Moore placed 25th in the West Virginia Amateur and also qualified for the West Virginia Open. The sophomore was a member of Roane County High School's second straight Class AA state championship.
"At first I thought about all the school I would be missing and I wasn't sure I would be able to go," Moore said. "But I'm looking forward to it and should be an awesome experience."
Moore will be accompanied by his mother, Erica Moore. His twin brother Cole and younger brother Caleb are unable to make the trip. His father is out west on a hunting trip.
"Cole and Caleb can't skip out on school," Moore said. "My dad won't make it at all."
Shears also completed her sophomore season with the Patriots, which placed fourth at the state meet in Class AAA. At the West Virginia Women's Amateur, she placed in a tie for fourth in the championship flight.
"There were a few days I didn't practice because of the rain - plus, I was getting caught up on schoolwork," Shears said. "I've probably played three or four days since the state tournament, so I'll be fine."
Established in 1996, 40 Faldo Series tournaments now take place in 30 countries worldwide with more than 7,000 golfers participating each year. Past winners include Rory McIlroy and Yani Tseng.
"Nick Faldo has become a great friend of, and ambassador for, The Greenbrier (including building a new private home for himself at The Greenbrier Sporting Club)," said Jim Justice, who is the owner of The Greenbrier. "It's only fitting that he would choose America's resort to usher in a new generation of young golfers from around the world."