New York Juniors Advance to 2018 Drive, Chip & Putt National Finals
AUGUSTA, G.A. -- Four talented young players from New York State are headed to Augusta National Golf Club this coming April for the 6th Drive, Chip & Putt National Finals.
The quartet will be among eighty junior golfers representing 27 U.S. states and 4 Canadian provinces, all of whom paved their way throughout three stages of qualifying in 2018.
The Empire State representatives include Alexandra Phung of Forest Hills (Girls 7-9), Sophi Li of Fresh Meadows (Girls 10-11), James Bradley of East Hampton (Boys 12-13) and Owen Walsh of Katonah (Boys 14-15). They all advanced through the Regional Qualifier at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y. on September 23rd, 2018.
Each junior will compete within their respective age category at Augusta on the Sunday before The Masters, with the entire event scheduled to be broadcasted live on the Golf Channel.
Alternate finishers from the final stage of qualifying at Winged Foot include: Hayden Knapp of Fort Edward (2nd Alternate, Girls 7-9), Lily Zhang of Williamsville (2nd Alternate, Girls 10-11), Bailey Shoemaker of West Edmeston (1st Alternate, Girls 14-15), Tanner LaTorre of Nassau (1st Alternate, Boys 7-9) and Jacob Dantonio of Lancaster (1st Alternate, Boys 12-13).
Zhang and Shoemaker (2x NYS Girls’ Junior champion) represented New York during last year’s National Final. Zhang, who competed in the Girls 7-9 division, finished 7 points behind the group winner, but captured the longest drive in her age group with 167.8 yards. Shoemaker, finished T-2 in the age group of Girls 12-13 and won the chipping portion of the contest.
2018 Qualifying began at the local level in May of 2018 at 290 sites around the U.S. The top-three scorers per venue, in each of the four age categories in separate boys and girls divisions, advanced to one of 57 subregional qualifiers in July and August. Two juniors in each age and gender division then competed at the regional level in September, held at some of the top courses in the country. Finally, the top finisher from each regional earned a place in the National Finals.
In New York, the list of 2018 DCP qualifying host courses included:
Local – Saratoga National GC (6/30), Harbor Links GC (7/6), The Apawamis Club (7/9), Brierwood CC (7/12), Vesper Hills GC (7/12), Craig Wood GC (7/15), Southern Meadow GC (7/19), Colonial Springs GC (7/19), Highland Park GC (7/20), Fox Valley GC (7/26), Sunken Meadow State Park (7/26), Town of Colonie GC (7/28), Westchester CC (8/6)
Sub-Regional – Glen Oak GC (8/9), Turning Stone Resort Casino (8/15), Bethpage State Park (8/16)
Regional – Winged Foot GC (9/23)
Drive, Chip & Putt is a free, nationwide youth golf development program open to boys and girls, ages 7-15, in four age categories. The three-pronged competition tests the skills essential to playing golf – accuracy in driving, chipping and putting.
The program, which was founded in 2013, began in partnership between the Masters Tournament, the PGA of America and the USGA.