Junior Golf's Masters of the Drive, Chip & Putt
The golf world will begin turning it’s attention to Augusta National Wednesday for the traditional Par 3 Contest before the Masters begins on April 5th, but for the junior golf world, the 5th Annual Drive, Chip & Putt Championship on April 1st marks the end of a months-long competition.
In 2014, Augusta National, the PGA of America and the USGA partnered to begin what is now one of junior golf’s most prestigious events. Eight champions are crowned from a field of 80 players, 40 boys and 40 girls aged from 7 to 15. Beginning with 268 events scattered across the US and Canada, top performers compete in one of 53 sub-regionals. The best from those sub-regionals advance to one of 10 regional qualifiers, and winners from there advance to the final, held at the beginning of Masters Week at Augusta National.
Team GLT would like to extend our congratulations to junior golf coach Chad Phillips, friend of Team GLT and coach of 3 of the Drive, Chip & Putt finalists: Loralie Cowart (9th in the Girls 14-15 division,) Thaxton Cheyne (7th in the Boys 7-9 age group,) and Sara Im, the winner of the Girls 12-13 category.
For advice on developing junior golfers from Chad Phillips and Team GLT, be sure to watch the video below. An audio only version is available here.
Drive, Chip & Putt competitions feature 2 drives, 2 putts and 2 chips. Points are accumulated for each event, with winners being awarded 10, second place receiving 9, etc. Trophies are presented to the top performer in each age group for each event, and the player with the highest cumulative score is crowned the Drive, Chip & Putt Champion in his or her age group.
A selection of past Masters champions are on hand to observe and present trophies, with Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia, Nick Faldo, Mark O’Meara, Trevor Immelman, Bubba Watson and Ben Crenshaw attending this year.
“What’s not to like about it?” remarked 2013 Masters champion Adam Scott. “The kids get to play out here, and it’s great to see what this is doing for kids’ programs…. I like to stand on the back of the range and watch the swings. I saw three kids all swing and they were right on plane. It’s amazing.”
The 2018 Drive, Chip & Putt Champions are as follows:
Girls age 7-9: Ella June Hannant, Pikeville, NC
Girls age 10-11: Vanessa Borovilas, Toronto
Girls age 12-13: Sara Im, Duluth, GA
Girls age 14-15: Katherine Schuster, Kill Devil Hills, NC
Boys age 7-9: Taigan Chea, Bothel, WA
Boys age 10-11: Tip Price, Greenville, SC
Boys age 12-13: PJ Maybank III, Cheboygan, MI
Boys age 14-15: Brendan Valdez, Orlando, FL
"All of us at Augusta National are focused on the future of golf, and this event remains one of the most meaningful endeavors in the history of our club," said Masters chairman Fred Ridley. "Our goal here is to inspire a lifelong passion for the game of golf, and if our participation helps, then we've accomplished our mission. I would like to say how inspired we all are by each and every one of these kids, and I'm pretty confident that the game of golf has a great future."