8 Regional Finalists Advance To Drive, Chip And Putt Finals At Augusta National

Monday, September 25, 2017

Eight area golfers – four boys and four girls – were crowned as national finalists and earned an invitation to compete in the fifth-annual Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals – held on Sunday, April 1, 2018, prior to the start of the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. 

Conducted in partnership between the Masters Tournament, the PGA of America and the USGA, the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship is a free, nationwide youth golf development program open to boys and girls, ages 7-15, in four age categories. 

The regional qualifying competition held at The Honors Course (site of the 2016 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship) on Sunday, is one of 10 regional qualifiers across the United States.  

Overall, 80 young golfers will advance to compete at Augusta National Golf Club. Tens of thousands seized the opportunity to participate in the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship, which began with local qualifying at more than 260 courses throughout the country. These qualifiers are open each year to young golfers of all skill and experience levels. The top finishers from each local qualifier advanced through subregionals and, then, regional competitions.

The four female national finalists from The Honors Course regional qualifier are:   

Julie Waldo, Prattville, Ala. (ages 7-9)
Waldo contained her nerves and punched her ticket to Augusta next April by winning the Girls 7-9 division. She finished with 101 points, 22 points above the second place finisher. “I enjoy competition. It gets me nervous sometimes, but I like to win,” she said.  

Trinity Beth, Calvert City,  Ky. (ages 10-11)
Last year, Beth came in third in her Drive, Chip and Putt regional qualifier, missing first place by seven strokes. This year, she edged out her competition in the Girls 10-11 division and earned her spot in the National Finals with 129 points. “I’m going to put in a lot of practice to get ready for Augusta,” she said. “A whole lot.” 

Sara Im, Duluth, Ga. (ages 12-13)
Im, a longtime participant in Drive, Chip and Putt, is headed to the National Finals for the first time. “I’ve been doing Drive, Chip and Putt for five years. I’ve gotten to the semis three times, but never before to Augusta,” she said.  “My chipping won it for me this time.” Im finished with 55 points in the chipping competition – the top score for all girls – and 131 points overall for the largest margin of victory for all finalists (36 points). 

Carla Kay Hickam, Olive Branch, Miss. (ages 14-15)
With a trip to Augusta on the line, Hickam made a 15-point chip on her final shot of the day to triumph in her age division by three points. After the competition, however, it wasn’t her final shot she credited for her victory. “My dad is the reason I won today,” she said. “He’s always pushed me to work hard.”  

The four male national finalists from the Honors Course regional qualifier are: 

Thaxton Cheyne, Canton, Ga. (ages 7-9)
Excited to have qualified for the National Finals, an eager Cheyne said, “Last year I only made it to round 2. Now I’m going to round 4!” Cheyne will travel to Augusta with his best friend, Patmon Malcom, winner of the Boys 10-11 division. The two often practice together for up to two hours a day. 

Patmon Malcom, Alpharetta, Ga. (ages 10-11)
Earlier this summer Malcom won the Boys 10 World Championship at Pinehurst Resort. Continuing his success, he finished first in the Boys 10-11 division at Sunday’s regional qualifier with the high score in the driving competition (48). “It’s really exciting,” he said. “We might have a celebration and go eat at a hibachi steak house!” 

Andrew Lim, Naperville, Ill. (ages 12-13) 
Lim and his family drove 10 hours from Naperville, Ill., to get to The Honors Course. Lim finished with consistent scores across the board to top his division with 129 points. “I’m excited; I thought I handled myself well,” he said.  “I’m just going to keep working to get better.” 

Jay Nimmo, Benton, Ky. (ages 14-15)
Nimmo first reached Augusta at the 2016 Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals. After finishing first in the Boys 14-15 division on Sunday, he will make his second appearance at Augusta National in April. “This is my second time to go to Augusta,” he said. “I feel like the competition will be better and because I’m older, I’ll have more fun.” Nimmo finished with the high chipping and driving scores in his division and a total of 151 points.  

Click here for final results.

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 more information and full qualifying scores for each division, visit www.DriveChipandPutt.com.

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