07 April 2019: They come in all sizes, starry-eyed and hearts filled with hope. The young children, 80 of them, come through regional qualifiers to contest in the Sunday event at the Augusta National. The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship is conducted on the practice facilities at the Augusta National Golf Club. In its sixth edition, the event was put together by the PGA, USGA and Augusta National and ran first on the Sunday leading to the 2013 Masters. Since then several children have enjoyed the privilege of taking a drive down Magnolia lane with their families and coaches to participate in the warm-hearted event.
There are winners of course, but each of the participants leaves Augusta with a bagful of memories and some memorabilia to fuel their dreams far into the future.
Treed Huang followed in the footsteps of Alexa Pano to secure multiple titles in the Drive, Chip and Putt competition.
“I definitely felt great going out there, playing for my fourth time,” Treed said. “I try and keep the pressure down. On the putting, I knew I couldn’t run it by, I just focused on every shot and did pretty good there.”
There are four categories – 7-9, 10-11, 11-12, 12-13 and 14-15 for boys and girls. The biggest honour, the title in the 14-15 category was won by Huang and Nicole Gal.
Among the boys, Connor Ford won the 7-9 age title. Sahish Reddy edged his way to victory in the 10-11 group. Matthew Vital showed great skill and promise in taking the 12-13 title.
Angela Zhang was a dominant winner of the youngest category in girls, scoring an impressive 29 points. Sophia Li took the 10-11 honours and Yana Wilson won the 12-13 category.
Gal was slow to start, making only six points in the driving section. But she collected 17 points through her chipping and putting to edge Megha Ganne by a solitary point.