Phung Advances to Third Drive, Chip & Putt National Finals, Joined by Olearczyk and Estrella

March 30, 2023

UPDATE 4/2 -- Alexandra Phung of Forest Hills won her age group during the 2023 the Drive, Chip & Putt National Finals. She was the only player in the field making their third appearance at Augusta National (although only age 11, she previously competed in 2019 and 2021), and that experience paid off, as she excelled at all three phases of the skills competition.

Related: National Finals Leaderboard

She became the Girls 10-11 Champion by earning 8 points in Driving, 10 points in Chipping, and 4 points in Putting to finish with 22 total, two ahead of the second-place finisher. Both of her chips came to rest within 2.5 feet of the hole.

Alexa Phung with Girls 10-11 trophy at 2023 Drive, Chip & Putt National Finals on April 2, 2023

Jacob Olearczyk of Barneveld finished in fifth place for the Boys 14-15 age group. He collected 17.5 total points and fared well in the chipping and putting categories with 9 and 7.5 points, respectively. 

Ava Taylor Estrella of Brookville finished T8 in the Girls 14-15 age group. She collected 12 points total and her best skill in the competition was putting with 6 points, leaving both putts within two feet.


AUGUSTA, G.A. -- Three young players from New York State have qualified for the 9th annual Drive, Chip & Putt National Finals, which will take place on April 2, 2023 (weekend before The Masters Tournament) at the famed Augusta National Golf Club.

The Empire State’s representatives will be: Brookville's Ava Taylor Estrella (Girls 14-15), Barneveld's Jacob Olearczyk (Boys 14-15), and Forest Hill's Alexandra Phung (Girls 10-11).

Related: Drive Chip & Putt Home / 2023 Qualifying Sites in NYS

The 2023 Drive, Chip & Putt National Finals will include 80 junior boys and girls, ages 7-15 from 29 different U.S. states. 

The trio from New York’s each won their age groups during the regional qualifier at TPC Boston in Massachussetts on September 17, 2022.

Alexandra Phung, Forest Hills (Girls 10-11)
Phung, is already making her third appearance in the National Finals at the young age of 11. She previously qualified in 2019 and 2021, and is the only player in this year's field making a third appearance. However, eight other players are returning for their second time at Augusta. She won her age group by a significant margin at this year’s regional and swept, winning all three competitions by a landslide. She finished with 42 points on driving, 30 points on chipping and sank both putts for 55 points. Her 127-point total was over 50 points higher than the first alternate.

Jacob Olearczyk, Barneveld (Boys 14-15)
Olearczyk, who has won the last two NYS Boys’ 14U Amateur titles, qualified with a point total of 150. He won both the driving and chipping portions of the regional competition with 65 points and 40 points, which was enough to secure him the spot in the National Finals, winning by nine points.

Ava Taylor Estrella, Brookville (Girls 14-15)
Estrella qualified by winning both the driving and putting competitions during the regional, with 130 total points. She earned 49 points in driving, 21 points in chipping and 60 points for putting. She was 21 points higher than the first alternate.

Qualifying began at the local level in May of 2022 at 342 sites throughout the U.S. The top-three scorers per venue, in each of the four age categories separated into boys and girls divisions, advanced to one of the subregional qualifiers in July and August. Two juniors in each age and gender division then competed at the regional level in September and October, held at some of the finest courses in the country. Finally, the top finisher from each of the 10 regionals earned a place in the National Finals.

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.


Past NYS Junior is Drive, Chip & Putt Finals

Ava Taylor Estrella, Brookville (Girls 14-15)

Jacob Olearczyk, Barneveld (Boys 14-15)
Alexandra Phung, Forest Hills (Girls 10-11)

Braydon Dock, Queensbury (Boys 14-15)

Mason LaTorre, Nassau (Boys 7-9)
Tanner LaTorre, Nassau (Boys 12-13)
Read Article

2020-21 (COVID-19 Postponed)
Braydon Dock, Queensbury (Boys 12-13)

Alexandra Phung, Forest Hills (Girls 12-13)
Amelie Phung, Forest Hills (Girls 7-9)
Read Article

James Bradley, East Hampton (Boys 12-13)
Sophia Li, Fresh Meadows (Girls 10-11)
Alexandra Phung, Forest Hills (Girls 7-9)
Owen Walsh, Goldens Bridge (Boys 14-15)
Read Article
Bailey Shoemaker, West Edmeston (Girls 12-13)
Lily Zhang, Williamsville (Girls 7-9)
Read Article
Kennedy Swedick, Altamont (Girls 10-11)
Nicole Criscone, Clifton Park (Girls 10-11)
Kyra Cox, Salem (Girls 14-15)
John Hiller, New York City (Boys 7-9)
Jennifer Rosenberg, Laurel Hollow (Girls 14-15)