CHICAGO, IL – A select group of individuals can say that they’ve hit a game-winning putt on Augusta National’s 18th green. But thanks to the Masters Tournament Foundation, The PGA of America and the United States Golf Association, this dream will become a reality next year for one junior golfer.
Officials announced earlier this month the creation of the Drive, Chip & Putt Championship. The competition is free and open to boys and girls ages 7-15, who will compete in four age categories. Local qualifying events will ultimately lead to the national finals, which will be played on April 6, the Sunday before next year’s Masters. Players will compete on Augusta National’s practice range and the club’s 18th green, with competition being aired on Golf Channel.
“We all share the belief that if we can make golf fun kids will come,” Augusta National chairman Billy Payne said.
Approximately 17,600 participants will be pulled from a random drawing to compete in 110 local qualifiers around the country. Those who qualify for regional competition will compete in 11 respective venues across the country, with 88 finalists advancing to the finals based on their performance in each of the three skill competitions.
Illinois will be hosting its own fair share of qualifying events, featuring ten local venues from around the state, and a regional competition hosted by Oak Brook Golf Club.