“The best day of my life.”
That’s how Kelly Xu, 9, described her victory Sunday in the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship National Finals at Augusta National Golf Club.
With the finalists in the Girls 7-9 division teeing off first, Xu became the first age-group champion in the history of the new event.
“Before hitting the first shot I was extremely nervous,” said Xu, who has been playing for four years. “But when I went to hit the ball I felt like I’ve been doing it all my life.”
Xu, born in Novi, Mich., and living in Santa Monica, Calif., finished second in two of the three categories to earn 10 points in each. Her winning total was 24.5 points. Xu’s longest of two drives measured 162.2 yards, the second longest in her age group. Xu, who is 4-foot-8 and weighs 61 pounds, also finished second in the chipping competition.
Raina Ports of Tucson, Ariz., was second with 23 points, followed by Alexa Pano of Lake Worth, Fla., with 22.5 points.