Eighty junior golfers representing 29 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces have earned an invitation to Augusta National Golf Club to compete in the ninth annual Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals, to be played on Sunday, April 2, 2023, prior to the start of the Masters Tournament.
The legendary Jack Burke, Jr., was on-hand at Champions Golf Club to encourage up-and-coming juniors who are now on their way to Augusta National, where he won the 1956 Masters. Many hope to follow in his footsteps and vie for a Green Jacket of their own someday.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, some juniors found comfort in Drive, Chip and Putt regional qualifying as other competitors authored stories of redemption in earning their place at Augusta National in April.
Many players find that the pressure to qualify for the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals intensifies as the opportunities wane. Alex Kim, 15, drained a curling 30-footer at Medinah Country Club to make the most of his last chance at qualifying, while Martha Kuwahara, 14, wants redemption at Augusta National.
For eight tenacious juniors, Augusta National is the ultimate reward for their dedication to the game.
Two National Finalists from the Northwest will chart a new chapter in their friendship as they compete at Augusta National together next spring. Meanwhile, a player who has been in their shoes had sage advice: ‘Enjoy it.’
Many of the competitors moving on from the Drive, Chip and Putt regional qualifier at Castle Pines Golf Club have already covered several hundred miles in their qualifying journey, but the real adventure awaits in April.
Maya Palanza Gaudin, with her impressive global golf resume, will join Alexandra Phung, now a familiar face as a three-time National Finalist, at Augusta National Golf Club next April.
With tensions high and wind gusts heavy, competitors at Oak Hill put it all on the line for their dream shot at an Augusta National appearance.
Ahead of a Presidents Cup build-out that would soon welcome thousands of golf fans, the next generation of golfers proved they have the skills to draw a crowd, too.
Youngsters demonstrate their talent and fearlessness on the very grounds where Jack Nicklaus, the six-time Masters winner, honed his game as a boy.
The journey to Augusta continues, with Regional qualifying currently underway across the country throughout the months of September and October!
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