Drive, Chip, and Putt Finalists Confirmed

News

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Eighty junior golfers representing 30 U.S. states and one Canadian province have earned an invitation to Augusta National Golf Club to compete in the fourth annual Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals, to be played on Sunday, April 2, 2017, prior to the start of the Masters Tournament.

A joint initiative by the Masters Tournament, the United States Golf Association (USGA) and the PGA of America, the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship is a free, nationwide youth golf development initiative open to girls and boys ages 7-15 – competing in separate divisions in four age categories – focusing on the three fundamental skills employed in golf and tapping the creative and competitive spirit of young golfers.

Results of the 10 regional qualifiers – the third and final stage of qualifying conducted at many USGA and PGA championship sites throughout the country – yielded five returning competitors from previous National Finals:

Participated in the 2016 National Finals:

 Alexa Pano (2016 Girls 10-11 Champion), of Lake Worth, Fla., won the Girls 12-13 age group at The Country Club

 Malia Schroeder, of Arlington, Wash., won the Girls 12-13 age group at The Olympic Club

Participated in the 2015 National Finals:

 Megha Ganne, of Holmdel, N.J., won the Girls 12-13 age group at Baltusrol Golf Club

Participated in the 2014 National Finals:

 Treed Huang (2014 Boys 7-9 Champion), of Katy, Texas, won the Boys 12-13 age group at Southern Hills

 Samuel Kodak, of Naples, Fla., won the Boys 12-13 age group at TPC Sawgrass

 Alexa Pano

The road to Augusta began with local qualifying in May, June, and July, held at more than 250 sites throughout the United States. The top three scorers per venue, in each of the four age categories in separate boys and girls divisions, advanced to 50 subregional qualifiers in July and August. Two juniors in each age and gender division then competed at the regional level in September.

The top finisher from each regional site’s age/gender divisions – a total of 80 finalists – earned a place in the National Finals, which will be broadcast live on Golf Channel. All local, subregional and

regional qualifiers were conducted by the 41 Sections of the PGA of America, with PGA Professionals providing support at each facility hosting a qualifier.

Notes from Regional Qualifying:

 Claire Bradford had already planned to attend the 2017 Masters with her father, Tom, and 7-year-old brother Collin before winning the Girls 7-9 division at Pinehurst. Bradford’s great grandfather, Ralph Herndon, helped operate the Masters scoreboard near the 15th green for a number of years. After finalist Karson Adkins’ sister Kameron, 10, had heart surgery in April, Adkins’ ability to play this summer was limited — and she says that did not bother her one bit. “I just kept practicing and I was able to grow closer to my sister. So it was a win-win.”  Trips down Magnolia Lane are becoming old hat for Malia Schroeder, the winner of last year’s Girls 12-13 division title at The Olympic Club. Schroeder repeated the feat, earning her second consecutive trip to Augusta National, where she finished fifth in the National Finals in 2016. Australian-born finalist Marcus Page was born on Masters Sunday, 2004, the day Phil Mickelson won his first green jacket. Like Mickelson, Page plays left-handed. Also like Phil, he’ll be headed to Augusta, having captured the Boys 12-13 division title.

 Megha Ganne qualified along with her sister, Sirina (Girls 7-9 division), making them the only pair of siblings to make it from the Baltusrol Golf Club regional. This is also Megha’s second trip to the National Finals. Austin Liao missed qualifying for Augusta National last year by two points, which motivated him all year to win the Boys 12-13 division. “It means everything. Last year, being so close, to make it this year, it’s just so great. I worked really hard to do it.”

 Jack Johnson will make his first trip to Augusta National after winning the Boys 14-15 division at Hazeltine National Golf Club, where he just wrapped up his first season as a caddie. After being eliminated in a tie breaker at the regional qualifier last year, Isabella Mccauley won the Girls 12-13 division by four points. “Last year it was hard because I thought I won, but it made me want to practice harder. I practiced so much coming to this event and it paid off.”

 Momo Kikuchi won the Girls 14-15 division at Medinah Country Club with 129 points, the most of any female finalist. She earned 55 points on the putting portion alone. Andrew Scholz was the last player to tee off at the regional qualifier, and ended the day on a high note, holing two of his first three putts (from 6 and 15 feet) to earn his spot in the National Finals. Scholz, who is 15, plays golf cross-handed (left hand low) with every club in his bag.

 After seeing a few friends participate in the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship, Julia Rabadam wanted to join in the fun. After making it to the subregional round last year, this year Rabadam not only won the Girls 12-13 division at Oakmont Country Club, but also

medaled in each event. Boys 14-15 finalist Clay Merchant has a very good mentor in the game of golf, who he credited with much of his success on the course Sunday. “My dad is a PGA pro and he’s really helped me,” the 15-year-old said. “He’s never pushed me, never even to go hit balls. He’s always left it up to me.”

 Maye Huang became half of a rare brother-sister duo to qualify in the same year by winning the Girls 7-9 division at Southern Hills Country Club. Her brother, Treed Huang, won the Boys 12-13 division and will be making his second trip to Augusta National. After winning the Boys 7-9 Division at the National Finals in 2014, Huang said he was eager to get back and try to win a second DCP championship at Augusta National. “Augusta was awesome,” he said. “The fairways were like mats and the greens didn’t have one single flaw. When my sister won, that definitely gave me extra motivation. If we’re going back, I wanted to be competing.”

 Kayla Bryant played in her local qualifier last year but did not advance, and used the lessons she learned to improve and win all three categories in the Girls 7-9 division at TPC Sawgrass. She will be joined at the National Finals by her neighbor and friend Chloe Kovelesky, winner of the Girls 10-11 division. Samuel Kodak earned his second trip to Augusta National with his Boys 12-13 division win. He also advanced to the National Finals in 2014, the first year of the competition.

 Kristina Xu has competed in Drive, Chip and Putt since 2014, but never advanced past regional qualifying. That all changed this year at Riviera Country Club, when she won all three disciplines in the Girls 7-9 division and beat her closest competitor by 47 points. Her older sister, Kelly, was the first female champion crowned at the National Finals in 2014. Two other siblings of former National Finalists also advanced at Riviera, including Nalani Sam (Girls 12-13), sister of 2016 Girls 12-13 Champion Kayla Sam, and Evan Chien (Boys 12-13), whose sister Leigh Chien competed in the 2016 National Finals. Mason Quagliata won the Boys 14-15 division with a total of 143 points, four points ahead of the closest competitor. “I went last year [to Augusta] for a practice round. It’s going to be a lot cooler standing on the first tee and putting on the 18th green.”

 Alexa Pano will compete at Augusta National for the third time this year, which puts her at more trips than any other finalist. “In the first year, there were only two stages,” said Pano, who won the Girls 12-13 division at The Country Club. “Now there are three stages and a lot more players all over the country, so to make it back is just incredible.” Illness kept Brian Glennon from competing in last year’s subregional round, and he made up for it this year with a Boys 14-15 division victory. “I never thought I could make it this far, but I guess I’m here and I won.”

All championship scoring at the local, subregional and regional qualifiers is based on a 25-point-per-shot basis, with each participant taking three shots per skill. Each participant accumulated points per

shot in all three skills (maximum of 75 points per skill = 25 points per shot x 3). The overall champion in each age category was determined by the participant with the most points accumulated between all three skills (maximum of 225 points = 75 points per skill x 3).

For each skill, the point system is based in incremental distance measurements, rewarding accuracy and distance in the drive skill, and proximity for chipping and putting skills. Difficulty increases with age.

At the National Finals, one champion will be named from each age/gender division. Each finalist will be scored based on a 30-point system, offering the player with the longest drive 10 points, the player with the closest cumulative chips 10 points and the player with the nearest cumulative putts 10 points, in each separate skill. The highest total composite score will determine the winner.

For more information about the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship, please visit www.DriveChipandPutt.com.

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REGIONAL QUALIFYING RESULTS

Qualifying sites:

Date Host Site City, State

September 4 Pinehurst Pinehurst, N.C.

September 10 TPC Sawgrass Ponte Vedra, Fla.

September 10 Olympic Club San Francisco, Calif.

September 10 Hazeltine National Golf Club Chaska, Minn.

September 10 Southern Hills Country Club Tulsa, Okla.

September 11 Oakmont Country Club Oakmont, Pa.

September 17 Medinah Country Club Medinah, Ill.

September 24 Riviera Country Club Pacific Palisades, Calif.

September 24 Baltusrol Golf Club Springfield, N.J.

September 25 The Country Club Brookline, Mass.

Qualifying results:

Girls 7-9

Name

Points

City

State/Province

Regional

Kristina Xu

139

Claremont

California

Riviera Country Club

Kayla Bryant

135

Boca Raton

Florida

TPC Sawgrass

Carlee Meilleur

105

Lansdowne

Ontario

The Country Club

Mia Herendeen

100

Bellevue

Washington

Olympic Club

Emree Cameron

93

Nevada

Missouri

Hazeltine Country Club

Gianna Clemente

88

Warren

Ohio

Oakmont Country Club

Claire Bradford

85

Watkinsville

Georgia

Pinehurst

Sirina Ganne

86

Holmdel

New Jersey

Baltusrol Golf Club

Lisa Copeland

84

Naperville

Illinois

Medinah Country Club

Maye Huang

74

Katy

Texas

Southern Hills Country Club

Girls 10-11

Name

Points

City

State/Province

Regional

Chloe Kovelesky

137

Boca Raton

Florida

TPC Sawgrass

Riley Yang

121

San Jose

California

Olympic Club

Sarah Lydic

115

Ocean View

Delaware

Oakmont Country Club

Mia Wong

113

Markham

Ontario

Baltusrol Golf Club

Kennedy Swedick

109

Altamont

New York

The Country Club

Lucy Yuan

109

San Diego

California

Riviera Country Club

Lyla Louderbaugh

104

Buffalo

Missouri

Hazeltine Country Club

Chelsea She

95

Buffalo Grove

Illinois

Medinah Country Club

Catherine Qiu

95

Ashburn

Virginia

Pinehurst

Kate Bennett

83

Fort Worth

Texas

Southern Hills Country Club

Girls 12-13

Name

Points

City

State/Province

Regional

Nalani Sam

143

Anaheim Hills

California

Riviera Country Club

Norah Catlin

141

Zephyrhills

Florida

TPC Sawgrass

Megha Ganne

136

Holmdel

New Jersey

Baltusrol Golf Club

Malia Schroeder

133

Arlington

Washington

Olympic Club

Madilyn Newman

130

Knoxville

Tennessee

Pinehurst

Julia Rabadam

129

Upper Arlington

Ohio

Oakmont Country Club

Isabella Mccauley

127

Inver Grove Heights

Minnesota

Hazeltine Country Club

Chloe Johnson

125

Evansville

Indiana

Medinah Country Club

Isabella Saenz

118

Porter

Texas

Southern Hills Country Club

Alexa Pano

104

Lake Worth

Florida

The Country Club

Girls 14-15

Name

Points

City

State/Province

Regional

Megan Ahmadi

161

Westlake Village

California

Riviera Country Club

Mimi Xiaoyi Chen

152

Longwood

Florida

TPC Sawgrass

Baylee Hammericksen

144

Medford

Oregon

Olympic Club

Jacqueline Feldman

144

Austin

Texas

Southern Hills Country Club

Gabrielle Shieh

131

Carlisle

Massachusetts

The Country Club

Savannah Grewal

131

Mississauga

Ontario

Baltusrol Golf Club

Karson Adkins

130

Savannah

Tennessee

Pinehurst

Momo Kikuchi

129

Maryland Heights

Missouri

Medinah Country Club

Emily St Aubin

126

Ashley

North Dakota

Hazeltine Country Club

Leila Raines

113

Galena

Ohio

Oakmont Country Club

Boys 7-9

Name

Points

City

State/Province

Regional

Max Vandermolen

130

Richland

Michigan

Medinah Country Club

Tyler Mawhinney

129

Fleming Island

Florida

TPC Sawgrass

Jeff Seong

122

Tacoma

Washington

Olympic Club

Udyat Sarangdevot

119

Omaha

Nebraska

Hazeltine Country Club

Carter Gaede

112

Manhattan Beach

California

Riviera Country Club

Peter Sposato

111

Bishop

Georgia

Pinehurst

Michael Bruce

99

Fort Fairfield

Maine

The Country Club

Trevor Sikorski

96

West Grove

Pennsylvania

Baltusrol Golf Club

Jacob Castro

91

Denton

Texas

Southern Hills Country Club

Ethan Ritter

85

New Albany

Ohio

Oakmont Country Club

Boys 10-11

Name

Points

City

State/Province

Regional

Howard Shu

136

Saratoga

California

Olympic Club

Eric Yun

128

Menlo Park

California

The Country Club

Braden Miller

125

Naples

Florida

TPC Sawgrass

Matt Moloney

122

Vienna

Virginia

Baltusrol Golf Club

Hayden Adams

121

Lexington

Kentucky

Oakmont Country Club

Quinn Thomas

120

Hannibal

Missouri

Medinah Country Club

Carter Kontur

119

Lawrenceville

Georgia

Pinehurst

Liam Hartling

117

Redlands

California

Riviera Country Club

William Hennessee

101

Tulsa

Oklahoma

Southern Hills Country Club

Mateo Rascon

98

Burlington

Iowa

Hazeltine Country Club

Boys 12-13

Name

Points

City

State/Province

Regional

Clinton Daly

164

Charlotte

North Carolina

Pinehurst

Marcus Page

153

Los Gatos

California

Olympic Club

Evan Chien

147

Irvine

California

Riviera Country Club

Samuel Kodak

144

Naples

Florida

TPC Sawgrass

Luke Coyle

143

Campbellsville

Kentucky

Oakmont Country Club

Treed Huang

135

Katy

Texas

Southern Hills Country Club

Zachary Colon

125

Bolton

Massachusetts

The Country Club

Connor McNeely

115

Noblesville

Indiana

Medinah Country Club

Kaeden Nomm

122

Minocqua

Wisconsin

Hazeltine Country Club

Austin Liao

102

Warren

New Jersey

Baltusrol Golf Club

Boys 14-15

Name

Points

City

State/Province

Regional

Aidan Kramer

154

Oviedo

Florida

TPC Sawgrass

Jack McMullin

154

Seattle

Washington

Olympic Club

Ian Walters

152

Glen Allen

Virginia

Baltusrol Golf Club

Cavan Jones

149

Roswell

New Mexico

Southern Hills Country Club

Clay Merchant

147

Noblesville

Indiana

Oakmont Country Club

Mason Quagliata

143

Scottsdale

Arizona

Riviera Country Club

Andrew Scholz

140

Mission

Kansas

Medinah Country Club

Jack Johnson

126

Chaska

Minnesota

Hazeltine Country Club

Jaron Leasure

122

Virginia Beach

Virginia

Pinehurst

Brian Glennon

118

Hingham

Massachusetts

The Country Club

About the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship

A joint initiative founded in 2013 by the Masters Tournament, United States Golf Association and the PGA of America, the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship is a free nationwide junior golf development competition aimed at growing the game by focusing on the three fundamental skills employed in golf. By tapping the creative and competitive spirit of girls and boys ages 7-15, the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship provides aspiring junior golfers an opportunity to play with their peers in qualifiers around the country. Participants who advance through local, sub-regional and regional qualifying in each age/gender category earn a place in the National Finals, which is conducted at Augusta National Golf Club the Sunday before the Masters Tournament and is broadcast live by Golf Channel. For more information about the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship, please visit: www.DriveChipandPutt.com.

About the Masters Tournament

The Masters Tournament Foundation, inspired by the enduring philosophies of Masters Tournament founders Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts, is committed to promoting golf’s domestic and international development through financial investment and active participation in initiatives aimed at preserving the traditions of the game and sharing its many virtues.

The Masters Tournament – since its very beginning – strives to provide added exposure to the game of golf and inspire interest in the sport worldwide. For more information about the Masters, visit www.masters.com.

About the United States Golf Association

The USGA conducts the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open, as well as 10 national amateur championships, two state team championships and international matches, attracting players and fans from more than 160 countries. Together with The R&A, the USGA governs the game worldwide, jointly administering the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, equipment standards and World Amateur Golf Rankings. The USGA’s reach is global with a working jurisdiction in the United States, its territories and Mexico, serving more than 25 million golfers and actively engaging 150 golf associations.

The USGA is one of the world’s foremost authorities on research, development and support of sustainable golf course management practices. It serves as a primary steward for the game’s history and invests in the development of the game through the delivery of its services and its ongoing “For the Good of the Game” grants program. Additionally, the USGA’s Course Rating and Handicap systems are used on six continents in more than 50 countries. For more information about the USGA, visit www.usga.org.

About the PGA of America

Since its founding in 1916, the PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, the PGA enables its professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in the multi-billion dollar golf industry. By creating and delivering world-class championships and innovative programs, the PGA of America elevates the public’s interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. As the PGA nears its centennial, the PGA brand represents the very best in golf. For more information about the PGA of America, visit www.pgamediacenter.com.

Media Contacts

Masters Tournament

Steve Ethun, Director of Communications

(706) 667-6705; spethun@augustanational.com

United States Golf Association (USGA)

Janeen Driscoll, Director, Public Relations

(908) 326-1978; jdriscoll@usga.org

PGA of America

Jamie Carbone, Director, Public Relations

(561) 624-8446; jcarbone@pgahq.com

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