17th Annual CM Pro-Am Was a Hole-In-One

The 30 pros competing in CM’s 17th annual Pro-Am tournament. (Photo by Phil Sakanashi.)

Character Media’s 17th annual Pro-Am tournament teed off last week, bringing delicious food, boozy celebrations and, of course, a riveting round of golf back to the Temecula Valley. The tournament, spanning April 8-9, united 30 LPGA and Epson Tour pros and a host of hopeful amateurs at Pechanga Resort Casino for two full days of festivities — with a few lucky winners taking home the gold. 

Activities began promptly on Monday afternoon, when all 150 players arrived to a decked-out check-in hall. (“I think that’s me!” Annika Borrelli giggled to Abegail Arevalo, pointing to her personalized tee flag.) After receiving their itineraries (and hefty gift bags stuffed with sponsored goods), the amateurs joined the pros for an exclusive golf clinic on Pechanga’s driving range, honing their technique for the competition ahead. 

Later that evening, the players made their way to Pechanga’s ballroom for the glitzy Pairings Party. Dressed in their best cocktail attire, the pros met their amateur partners, grabbed drinks from the open bar and shared a laugh or two before finding their seats. As the buffet was prepared, Pechanga’s Chief Marketing Officer Bill Anderson welcomed everyone to the resort, and returning emcee Paul “PK” Kim introduced the first game of the night. 

“We have a new scorekeeping app this year called Squabbit, which you all should’ve downloaded by now,” Kim said. “I’m going to give you a minute to come up with a team name. … The fastest group to upload a team selfie with a caption of your team’s name to Squabbit’s activity tab will be released to dinner first!” 

After a mad dash of conversation and camera flashes, pro Jillian Hollis and her team, B2B, came out on top. Then, everyone loaded their plates with cuisines galore — taking advantage of the all-you-can-eat sushi, soups, roasts, pastas and more. After the players ate, Kim scrambled around the room introducing the 30 pros, always managing to get a laugh. 

“If you could golf with one person, dead or alive, who would it be?” he asked Amelia Garvey. “Justin Bieber!” the Australian golfer answered, unable to suppress her giggles. 

“And how do you celebrate after a great round?” he asked Karen Chung and Tisha Alyn. “A shot of fireball,” Chung said. “A cold beer, Dave’s Hot Chicken and the strip club!” Alyn added with a cheeky grin.

After some grazing at the dessert bar, it was time for the next game of the night: golf trivia. While the teams weren’t yet armed with clubs, the competition was fierce; each correct answer earned the players a $250 Hollywood Wellness Med Spa voucher and $40 cash. Guests clamored to answer fun questions like ‘Before the invention of rubber, what were golf balls made of?’ (wood or leather-bound feathers) and ‘Who is the youngest player of any gender to be ranked No. 1 in pro golf?’ (Lydia Ko, who was 17 years, 9 months and 9 days old at the time). 

The hardest question of the night? ‘Which magazine is the oldest golf publication in the U.S.?’

“‘Golf Weekly!’” an amateur shouted. “‘Golf Monthly?’” a pro guessed. “‘Golf Illustrated!’” offered James Ryu, publisher of Character Media. (The correct answer was ‘Golf World,’ a weekly periodical that was in circulation between 1947 and 2014.) 

A couple of drinks later, the night ended with a dance competition scored by C.C. Thomas, Jr. and the live house band. Players received raffle tickets for every song they danced to, earning them a shot at winning either an Amazon Echo Studio or $500 cash. After a lively half-hour — which saw everyone from golfer ILHee Lee to actor Manny Jacinto to former L.A. Dodger Chan Ho Park busting a move — actor Ken Kirby pocketed the cash, and amateur Jim Burgan and pro Gabriella Then took home the Echos.

After a night of rest (or, for some, a night at the slots), the tournament started in full swing Tuesday morning. Under the sunshine and against a slight spring breeze, each of the 30 pros lined up with one of their amateurs at Hole 1 of Journey at Pechanga golf course to participate in the Longest Drive Competition. Pros Soo Bin Joo and Amy Lee recorded the longest individual shots at 263 yards each; however, duo Brianna Do (pro) and Josh Livett (her amateur) achieved the highest combined yardage of 556, winning the event. Do won $500, and her four teammates received new Kirkland clubs, courtesy of SM Global, LLC. 

But, the tournament was just getting started. The 30 teams then scattered across the course to begin the principal 18-hole scramble, sipping on Remy Martin and playing mini-games with L.A. Soju at select holes. Between putts, they made sure to take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding Temecula Valley.

At Holes 3, 8, 15 and 17, players had the opportunity to try for Pechanga’s Hole-In-One Contest. Though the morning was quiet, two hours into gameplay, Do stepped onto the green and won big. Hitting her 10th hole-in-one from a distance of 180 yards, she took home the $10,000 cash prize. 

Throughout the afternoon, the battle for top spots waged between Do’s Team Reaper, Savannah Grewal’s Team Revenge, Jenny Rosenberg’s Team Just The Nobodys, Selena Costabile’s Team Oh Ya Baby and Garvey’s Team Champions. With each team finishing nearly every hole under par, the competition was close until the last putt. 

That night, everyone gathered one last time at Journey’s End clubhouse for the awards dinner. As the guests enjoyed yet another delectable meal (this time, complete with grilled lamb chops, Chilean sea bass, oxtail soup and kimchi fried rice), Then took the mic to share her closing remarks. 

“Thank you for putting on an amazing tournament for all the players and all the amateur groups,” the pro said, addressing Pechanga and CM’s new television partner, GoldenTV. “We look forward to coming every year.” 

Pro Gabriella Then thanks the sponsors. (Photo by Cory Sherwood.)

Host Kim then returned to announce the winners. Do’s Team Reaper, which included amateurs Bill Phelps, Jeff Plank, David Futrell and Levitt representing sponsor Dave’s Hot Chicken, clinched first place, scoring an impressive 19 under par. Do received another $5,000 to add to her hole-in-one earnings, and her teammates went home with TaylorMade drivers. Grewal’s Team Revenge came in a close second, scoring 18 under par. Amateurs Chris Lee, Addison Lee, Christian Lee and Kyler Lee were awarded Vessel golf bags, and Grewal took home $1,000. 

With the results announced, the prizes awarded and the food devoured, the 17th annual CM Pro-Am came to a close. Character Media would like to thank our loyal hosts, Pechanga Resort Casino, and our presenting sponsor, GoldenTV, for making this event possible. Special thanks to additional sponsors L.A. Soju, Rémy Martin, SM Global, LLC, APW, Dave’s Hot Chicken, Hollywood Wellness Med Spa, Chun-Ha Insurance, Eugene Kim, M.D. Plastic Surgery, the Judith Ehm Foundation, Ten Advertising and Uni & Good Friend Insurance. Lastly, huge thanks to our product sponsors, TaylorMade and Vessel.

Player gift bags stuffed with custom CM tees, Pechanga ball markers and divot fixers, GoldenTV-sponsored Vessel towels, SM Global-sponsored PXG and Kirkland golf balls, Matter of Fact serums, Genesis One Foundation desk vacuums and Pair of Thieves socks.
Pro gift bags stuffed with custom CM tees, Pechanga ball markers and divot fixers, GoldenTV-sponsored Vessel towels, SM Global, LLC-sponsored PXG and Kirkland golf balls, Matter of Fact serums, Genesis One Foundation desk vacuums, Pair of Thieves socks and Vessel leather clutches. (Photo by Cory Sherwood.)

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