Pro golf instructor and content creator Manolo Vega, left, celebrates with golf pro Austin Smotherman after he made a putt during the Chevron Challenge at the 2023 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am on Wednesday. ( Raul Ebio - The Pajaronian)

MONTEREY—The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am kicked off Wednesday morning with a trio of golf events that entertained spectators and benefited local charities. 

PGA Tour Professionals teamed up with professional athletes in a putting challenge that went down to the wire, while celebrities swung and chipped away to raise funds for a good cause.

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen paired up with professional golfer Keith Mitchell to win the Chevron Challenge 5-hole putting contest in The Hay zone at Pebble Beach Golf Links on Wednesday afternoon.

It came down to a playoff hole to determine a winner, and it was Allen and Mitchell who came the closest to the pin for the victory.

The winning duo battled against four other pairs who competed for $250,000 for charity to benefit youth-serving nonprofits in Monterey County to focus on bridging the digital divide in STEM education and serving underrepresented communities and youth. 

The athlete/PGA Tour professional teams included Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers with Kelly Kraft, former San Francisco Giants great Buster Posey with Harry Higgs and former NFL quarterbacks Steve Young and Alex Smith with Austin Smotherman and Tom Hoge, respectively.  

Those benefiting this week include YMCA Central Coast, Girls Inc. of the Central Coast, Boys and Girls Club of Monterey County, Lyceum and Greenfield Community Science Workshop which each received $50,000 in charity funds. 

Prior to that, two teams made up of celebrities battled through three holes at The Hay for a chance to win up to $20,000 per hole for each group’s designated charity. 

Amanda Balionis and fellow teammates Wells Adams, Huey Lewis and Alfonso Ribeiro came out on top by winning $75,000 for Digital NEST, which creates sustainable and scalable technology learning centers for Latinx youth to provide the skills, network and resources to foster economic equality. 

According to a press release, despite pandemic-related closures that disrupted its service model, Digital NEST pursued a bold strategy to open centers in under-resourced communities in Central and Northern California.

Josh Duhamel, Bobby Bones, Scott Eastwood and Ray Romano earned $50,000 for Life Lab, which cultivates children’s love of learning, healthy food and nature through garden-based education. 

Life Lab—founded in 1979—is a national leader in garden-based curriculum development and teacher training and co-founded the School Garden Support Organization (SGSO) Network, which now connects more than 1,700 organizations.

The Pebble Beach Pro-Am continues with first round action starting Thursday morning at 8:30am. 

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A Watsonville native who has a passion for local sports and loves his community. A Watsonville High, Cabrillo College, San Jose State University and UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism alumnus, he primarily covers high school athletics, Cabrillo College athletics, various youth sports in the Pajaro Valley and the Santa Cruz Warriors. Juan is also a video game enthusiast, part-time chef (at home), explorer and a sports junkie. Coaches and athletic directors are encouraged to report scores HERE.


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