Maya Palanza Gaudin
East Falmouth , MA
Age: 12 - 13
The Path to the National Finals
Should a player advance through local qualifying, the subregional and regional qualifying sites are pre-determined based upon the local qualifying site. The player is not guaranteed participation in the subregional qualifier unless he/she advances through local qualifying. The player is not guaranteed participation in the regional qualifier unless he/she advances through local and subregional qualifying.
Local QualifierEvent CompletedMattapoisett, MA 02739Jul 21, 2022
Sub-Regional QualifierEvent CompletedLakeville, MA 02347Aug 10, 2022
Regional QualifierEvent CompletedNorton, MA 02766Sep 17, 2022
NAME AND LOCATION OF SCHOOL:
US Performance Academy (USPA)
GRADE IN SCHOOL:
HOME GOLF COURSE AND LOCATION:
Sacconesset Golf Club (Falmouth, MA) and YAS LINKS, Abu Dhabi
PLAY GOLF RIGHT OR LEFT HANDED:
AGE STARTED PLAYING GOLF:
4 years old
LOWEST SCORE SHOT (9 AND/OR 18 HOLES):
70 (18 holes; -2 under) at age 11.
HOW DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN GOLF?
WHO INTRODUCED YOU TO GOLF?
Mom and Dad
WHO DO YOU NORMALLY PLAY GOLF WITH?
Friends and Family
WHO IS YOUR GOLF INSTRUCTOR?
Coach Yasin Ali and my Dad.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT PLAYING GOLF?
The golf ball doesn’t care who you are, or where you where born. The golf ball doesn’t care how much money you may have or about what your father and grandfather did for a job. The golf ball doesn’t care about the color of your skin, or how tall, skinny, heavy or popular you are. The golf ball doesn’t care about what school you go to. The golf ball only cares about one thing - and - only one thing: how you swing the club! That’s what I love about golf - it’s just about you and the golf ball.
WHAT PART OF GOLF DO YOU LIKE TO PRACTICE THE MOST?
Chipping and Putting practice - but most prefers to play golf on the course!
WHAT’S THE MOST DIFFICULT THING ABOUT GOLF?
Keeping my Dad quiet (ha,ha)
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CLUB?
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE GOLF COURSE IN THE WORLD?
Until now, St Andrew’s, Scotland, played in June 2022. (but once I see Augusta in person - I’m sure Augusta will be my all-time favorite)
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT IN GOLF SO FAR?
Tie: Winning 1st Place in 2022 USKIDS European Championship (girls 12 years old) - AND - Becoming a Finalist in the DCP National Finals 2023
HAVE YOU EVER PARTICIPATED IN A USGA OR PGA OF AMERICA EVENT? IF SO, WHICH ONE(S), WHEN, AND HOW DID YOU DO?
USGA Junior Girls Amateur Qualifier (New England Region) 2021 (11 years old) and 2022 (13 years old). I did Ok. It was amazing experience to play golf with such talented girls!
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER JUNIORS PARTICIPATING IN DCP WHO ARE TRYING TO REACH THE NATIONAL FINALS?
Never stop trying. You can do it!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT PARTICIPATING IN DRIVE, CHIP AND PUTT?
I enjoy the pressure of “having to make this shot!”
MEMORABLE MOMENTS FROM YOUR LOCAL, SUBREGIONAL OR REGIONAL QUALIFIERS:
My extended family being there to see me compete in the Northeast Regional Finals (20+ we’re there) and we all went to dinner together to celebrate!
HAVE YOU TRIED TO QUALIFY FOR DRIVE, CHIP AND PUTT IN THE PAST? IF SO, PLEASE LIST EACH YEAR AND YOUR PREVIOUS RESULTS:
This was the 4th time I competed in DCP. I previously made it twice to the North East Regional Finals (at TCP, Riverhighlands in 2020; and WingedFoot in 2019)
DID YOU WATCH LAST YEAR’S DRIVE, CHIP AND PUTT NATIONAL FINALS ON TELEVISION? IF SO, WHAT IMPACT DID THAT HAVE ON YOUR PARTICIPATION THIS YEAR?
Yes. We watch it every year. I was very impressed with how the kids kept their composure under such pressure of being at Augusta!
LIST FROM STRONGEST TO WEAKEST – DRIVING, CHIPPING, PUTTING:
Putting, Driving, Chipping
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO THE MASTERS BEFORE? IF SO, WHEN?
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE GOLF ACCESSORY (HAT, HEADCOVER, BALL MARKER, ETC.)?
I have a ball marker from the Old Course, St Andrews
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MASTERS MEMORY? U.S. OPEN OR U.S. WOMEN’S OPEN MEMORY? PGA CHAMPIONSHIP OR WOMEN’S PGA CHAMPIONSHIP MEMORY?
Francis Ouimet winning the 1913 US OPEN (an amateur beats golf legend Harry Vardon )
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY WATCHING GOLF ON TV?
Tiger Woods winning the 2019 Masters, one of the greatest comebacks in sports history
WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE MALE GOLFER, AND WHY?
Rory McIlroy (I’ve met him several times, even played one hole with him during the 2018 HSBC Championship in Abu Dhabi when I was 7 years old) . He has always been so nice to me. Always made time to say hello to me!
WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE FEMALE GOLFER, AND WHY?
Lexi Thompson. I love the way she focuses and I try to emulate her on the course!
WHO IS THE COOLEST PLAYER IN GOLF, AND WHY?
Francis Ouimet - he was a young amateur golfer and he beat the top professional of the time Harry Vardon! You can’t get cooler then that!
HAVE YOU EVER PLAYED WITH SOMEONE FAMOUS? IF SO, WHO? PLEASE DESCRIBE THE CIRCUMSTANCES:
Rory McIlroy (2018 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, this was a prize for winning a local junior tournament. That same year I also practiced gokf fut one hour with the Black Knight, Gary Player. I saw him on the range and approached him - he asked if I had ever heard of him and I says of course! He says how does a young girl like you know of me? And I told him that my grandfather told me that Jack Nicholas was better golfer than YOU! He laughed so hard and told me to tell my grandfather the he best Jack Nicholas as many times as Jack best him. Then Gary Player hit golf balls with me for about an hour. And give me best advice ever: To be great at golf requires 3 things: 1. Talent; 2. Passion; and 3. Working Harder than others.
IF YOU COULD CHOOSE TO PLAY GOLF WITH A DREAM FOURSOME, WHO WOULD THE OTHER THREE PEOPLE BE?
Rory McIlroy; Gary Player and Tiger Woods.
DO YOU PLAY ANY GOLF VIDEO GAMES? IF SO, WHICH ONE(S)?
Sometimes Golf video game on Nintendo Switch
WHAT FOOD WOULD YOU SERVE AT YOUR CHAMPIONS DINNER AT AUGUSTA NATIONAL?
Spaghetti Carbonara; then Ribeye Steak and then dessert - Chocolate Lava Cake
FAVORITE SCHOOL SUBJECT:
English / Reading (I read 21 books this summer)
FAVORITE SCHOOL TEACHER:
Mr Bingham, my fifth grade teacher.
FAVORITE SPORT (OTHER THAN GOLF):
FAVORITE SINGER / MUSIC GROUP:
FAVORITE TV SHOW:
Apple’s iMovie (I like to create and edit videos.
DESCRIBE ANY TALENTS OR INTERESTS OUTSIDE OF GOLF:
I like to knit and crochet - they’re creative and very relaxing.
HERO / ROLE MODEL(S):
My mother - she’s the greatest!
WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
In 2018, Gary Player told me: to be great at golf requires 3 things: 1. Talent; 2. Passion; and 3. Working Harder than others.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
I’d really like to play Division 1 college golf and then make it onto the LPGA; I'd also like to be an architect.
My "golf-journey” speaks greatly to the inclusiveness of golf and why it’s truly a great sport! I am an American Citizen, who was born in Ethiopia, and resides (most of the year) in Abu Dhabi, UAE. (That’s 3 continents!) I was adopted shortly after I was born. At 4 years old, I took to golf like a fish to water (an interesting fact as neither of of my parents can be considered “golfers”). I practice golf hard and play even harder. My current official USGA/R+A handicap is 2.7 (two-point-seven). Whenever I compete in a golf event, most often, I’m the only “brown” girl in the field. That said, most golfers everywhere we go welcome and accept me, without issue. One of the things I most like about golf is that the golf ball doesn’t care who you are, or where you where born. The golf ball doesn’t care how much money you may have or about what your father and grandfather did for a job. The golf ball doesn’t care about the color of your skin, or how tall, skinny, heavy or popular you are. The golf ball doesn’t care about what school you go to. The golf ball only cares about one thing - and - only one thing: how you swing the club! That’s what I love about golf - it’s just about you and the golf ball.