us open challenge peggy ference mark wahlberg drew brees wayne gretzky Peggy Ference is first woman to play U.S. Open Challenge; Mark Wahlberg winsThe U.S. Open Challenge is a celebrity event that was held on June 9 but aired Sunday, June 20 before the actual U.S. Open started its final day of play on NBC.

Peggy Ference was the first woman to play in the event since its inception three years ago. She is a 51-year-old amateur golfer from New Jersey who won her spot in the event by competing in an online essay contest. She received 37% of the 65,000+ votes cast, sending her to play with actor Mark Wahlberg, hockey great Wayne Gretzky and NFL quarterback Drew Brees.

Oh, and she was required to hit from the mens’ tees on the actual U.S. Open course.

]]>“I just had to try to get it in the short stuff as quickly as possible,” Ference told ESPN. “Just to learn how to hit the shot to get it out of the rough was very challenging.”

“It felt like a hurricane,” Wahlberg said. “I’m glad it’s over. It was tough out there.”

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