Shahbaz Hashmi began playing golf with his dad at a young age, just like his golf idol, Tiger Woods.
Thirteen years later, Shahbaz and his dad, Ahmed Hashmi, will hit the links again — but this time, PGA Tour stars will be there, too. On May 2, the father and son will be player and caddie at the 2018 Wells Fargo Championship at the Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Shahbaz hopes to get the opportunity to play with Tiger Woods in the 2018 Wells Fargo Championship Pro-Am. Woods committed April 26 to play in the tournament. His last appearance in the event was in 2012.
Hashmi is playing Quail Hollow Club with the pros as the grand prizewinner of Wells Fargo and The First Tee’s Succeeding TogetherSM essay contest for participants of the The First Tee® youth sports organization. The contest celebrates the importance of developing and working with a “go-to-team” to achieve life goals.
“Not only has my dad groomed me into the player I am today from scratch, but he has also become an impressive player himself, breaking par within his first year of playing,” said Hashmi, 17, who plays on the golf team at Alamo Heights High School and helped found and serves as president of the junior advisory board of The First Tee of Greater San Antonio.
“Our bond as father and son has grown so much through the game of golf, and having him by my side at Quail Hollow means the world to me.”
The First Tee, which administers the Succeeding TogetherSM contest for Wells Fargo, uses golf to build character through The First Tee’s Nine Core Values of honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy, and judgment.
“The First Tee has helped me develop into the gritty and curious person I am today,” said Hashmi, who has been a member since childhood. “I genuinely believe that the program has broadened my worldview and my understanding of myself and my surroundings. I have learned how to be at peace with myself, how to interact with others, how to exude positivity, and how to impact the members of my respective community wherever life may take me.”
Hashmi learned he’d won the 2018 edition of the Succeeding TogetherSM contest by surprise when he showed up to do what he thought was a television interview of the contest finalists.
When he arrived at The First Tee of Greater San Antonio’s headquarters in Texas and put on the Wells Fargo Championship hat, everyone broke out in applause. Wells Fargo District Manager Robert Ortiz, who manages the bank’s branches in South San Antonio, and Janina Collins, executive director of The First Tee of Greater San Antonio, broke the news that he’d won the grand prize.
“We were very impressed with Shahbaz’s essay, and all that he’s accomplished as a student and through the game of golf,” Ortiz said. “His ability to lead on and off the golf course is evident through his passion, integrity, determination, and tenacity. He truly exemplifies the qualities of a great leader.”
Keith Dawkins, CEO of The First Tee, added, “Shahbaz Hashmi is a shining example of how we hope to transform kids’ experience with the game of golf. We are grateful to Wells Fargo for sharing our commitment to growing the game while positively impacting kids’ lives.”
This will be Hashmi’s latest PGA Tour Pro-Am experience after Pro-Am rounds with professional golfers at the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio and Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach (now the Pure Insurance Championship) in California. Although his final choice won’t be official until the Pro-Am pairing party May 1, Hashmi wants to play with Woods.
“Tiger Woods is uneqivocally my hero,” Hashmi said. “Since I entered the contest, he’s always been my first choice to play with if I won and he was in the Wells Fargo Championship field. Watching him dominate in a way no other athlete has in their respective sport has served as such an inspiration for not only me, but my entire generation. To experience a round of golf alongside him would be an absolute dream come true.”
Meet the finalists
The three finalists of the Succeeding TogetherSM contest have won trips to the Wells Fargo Championship as observers. They are: