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A Masters Legend Adds to the Memories at the Bear’s Club Regional Qualifier

The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images

Jack Nicklaus’ influence makes the first-time regional venue a memorable backdrop for youngsters hoping to leave their own mark on Augusta National.

JUPITER, Fla. – It’s not easy to qualify for the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals, even for those who have made the journey before.

Eight fortunate and talented youngsters in Sunday’s Drive, Chip and Putt regional qualifier at The Bear’s Club earned a trip to compete at Augusta National on April 3, 2022, but the other 87 participants also left with special memories.

With everything on the line to go to Augusta, Jack wanted them to be here. This is something the kids and their parents will remember the rest of their lives.

How fitting is it to get an opportunity to earn a trip to Augusta National during a competition at a club founded by a golfer with some of the most memorable Masters Tournament victories? Not only has Jack Nicklaus won more Green Jackets than anyone else (six); he was the oldest to do so (46 years old) and at 81, continues to serve as an honorary starter.

For one glorious day, the future of game was treated to what today’s golf greats such as Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Daniel Berger regularly experience as Bear’s Club members: immaculate conditions and the presence of the Golden Bear.

No, Nicklaus was not at Sunday’s regional qualifier, but his presence was felt as much as the breezy conditions. After each of the eight division winners was announced, he or she was given a South Florida PGA flag signed by Nicklaus, creating another are-you-kidding-me moment.

The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images
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“This is amazing Jack signed this flag for me,” said Paul Ancona of Pace, Fla., who won the Boys 12-13 division. “It’s awesome!”

As much as the game has given Nicklaus, he has given back. Four months after The Bear’s Club hosted a U.S. Open sectional qualifier, Nicklaus again put out the welcome mat, this time for Drive, Chip and Putt.

“Not only does Jack open the doors to his facility, he makes sure to give something to the winners,” said Geoff Lofstead, executive director of the South Florida PGA, which ran the Drive, Chip and Putt regional. “With everything on the line to go to Augusta, Jack wanted them to be here. This is something the kids and their parents will remember the rest of their lives.”

Event Image - The Bears Club
Bear's Club in Jupiter, FL

Drive, Chip and Putt competitions are usually family affairs, with parents and siblings on hand for support. Angela Nip of Port St. Lucie, Fla., took that approach to another level when she won the Girls 14-15 competition to earn her first trip to Augusta National as a contestant.

Nip has been there twice before with her older sister Gloria, who qualified for the 2015 and 2018 National Finals. Now she’s the one who gets to bring her clubs to Augusta National.

“It means a lot to me to follow in my sister’s footsteps,” Angela Nip said. “She told me to stay calm and watch what the other people do. She said to treat it like it’s regular golf.”

It’s not, of course. Each player at regional qualifying gets only three drives, three chips and three putts. A tiny mistake or a lack of focus can quickly end a competitor’s chances.
Among those who withstood the pressure were three Georgia residents: Lyla Hawker of Fort Gordon, who won the Girls 7-9 division; Zane Madison of Evans, who won the Boys 7-9 division and Trace Carter of Blackshear, who captured the Boys 14-15 division.

The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - The Bear's Club
JUPITER, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 03: The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at The Bear's Club on October 03, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images

“My drive won’t be as far, luckily,” said Hawker, who lives a mere 15 minutes from Augusta National.

The other winners were Emma Kate Rice of Mountain Brook, Ala., in the Girls 10-11 division; Angelina Pacheco of Orlando, Fla., in the Girls 12-13 division and Jeremy Castellanos of Windermere, Fla., in the Boys 10-11 division.

Four players were hoping to earn a return trip to the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals, including Tampa’s Elyse Meerdink, who won the Girls 10-11 division at the 2021 National Finals in April. Golf is a game of inches, and Meerdink finished second to Pacheco by four points – the difference being one of Meerdink’s drives that ended up less than a foot off the grid.

Gallery9.jpg
Ryan Nana Tanke lines up his putt in the Boys 7-9 division during the 2021 Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals at Augusta National Golf Club.

Ryan Nana Tanke of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., was trying to make his third National Finals run, but finished third to Castellanos in the Boys 10-11 competition. Nana Tanke was obviously disappointed but tried to remain upbeat afterward.

“It’s fine because you can’t win every single time,” Nana Tanke said. “Next year I’m going to come back and try to qualify again.”

Naples, Fla., resident Braden Miller, who competed in the 2017 National Finals, finished second to Carter in the Boys 14-15 division, and 2019 National Finalist Beka Yang of Sylvania, Ohio, was ninth in the Girls 12-13 division.

It’s difficult to qualify for the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals once, much less make it back. No win in golf is ever a guarantee, but those who got to compete at The Bear’s Club will always have the memories.

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