DRIVE, CHIP & PUTT
80 Regional Champions Earn Spots in DCP Finals October 7, 2014 By United States Golf Association, Masters Tournament and PGA of America

Kelly Xu, the Girls 7-9 national champion in the inaugural Drive, Chip and Putt Championship, earned a trip to Augusta National. (Scott K. Brown/DC&P)

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Eighty junior golfers representing 30 U.S. states and three Canadian provinces have earned an invitation to Augusta National Golf Club to compete in the second annual Drive, Chip and Putt Championship National Finals, to be played on Sunday, April 5, 2015, prior to the start of the Masters Tournament.

A joint initiative by the Masters Tournament, the United States Golf Association and the PGA of America, the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship is a free nationwide junior competition focusing on the three fundamental skills employed in golf, tapping the creative and competitive spirit of girls and boys, ages 7-15.

Results of the 10 regional qualifiers – the third and final stage leading to the 2015 National Finals – yielded five returning competitors from last year’s event. Kelly Xu of Santa Monica, Calif., is the lone returning champion, who will compete in the Girls 10-11 Division after winning the Girls 7-9 Division in Augusta last April.

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 four age categories in separate boys and girls divisions, advanced to 49 sub-regional qualifiers in August. Two juniors in each age and gender division then competed at the regional level through September.
The top finisher from each regional site’s age/gender divisions earned a place in the National Finals, which will be broadcast live on Golf Channel. All local, sub-regional 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:

• There are five returning competitors from last year’s National Finals – Conner Willett (6th, Boys 10-11, of Wellesley, Mass.), Logan Medcalf (Runner-up, Boys 7-9, of Lynden, Wash.), Ashley Gilliam (T3, Girls 12-13, of Manchester, Tenn.), Kelly Xu (Champion, Girls 7-9; of Santa Monica, Calif.) and Christine Wang (Runner-up, Girls 12-13, of Houston, Texas).

• T.K. Schultz of Bulverde, Texas, had the largest margin of victory (45) in regional qualifying, outscoring the second-place competitor, 160-115.

• Matthew Camel of Greenwich, Conn., scored the most points in regional qualifying with 169 – 69 in the Drive, 40 in the Chip and 60 in the Putt.

• Two sets of siblings qualified. Isaiah and Lydia Swan of North East, Pa., qualified for the Boys’ and Girls’ 10-11 age groups, respectively. San Diego brothers Shane and Colin Ffrench qualified at Torrey Pines. Shane qualified for the Boys 12-13 Division while Colin qualified for the Boys 14-15 Division.

• First-time finalist Ariana Saenz of Porter, Texas captured the Girls 14-15 Division at the South Central regional qualifier with 119 points. Saenz started playing golf at age three, shortly after having open-heart surgery.

• Omaha native Nia Station advanced to the finals of the Girls’ 14-15 division with a final score of 128. The daughter of former University of Iowa All-America football player Larry Station, Nia is a participant in The First Tee of Omaha/Hogan’s Junior Golf Heroes programs.

• While Anna Earl of Vienna, W.Va., failed to advance in the Girls 10-11 Division at Prestwick Village Golf Club in Highland, Mich., she displayed a tenacious spirit even in defeat. Earl, who has cerebral palsy, posted a remarkable 24 in her regional qualifier, after posting a second-place finish in sub-regionals in August.

• Iowa PGA Junior Tour participant Brooke Boardman (128) took medalist honors in the Girls 12-13 Division at Tiffany Greens Golf Club in Kansas City, Mo. Boardman, of Waukee, Iowa, won the Iowa PGA Golf Skills Challenge in the same age division earlier this year and has several junior golf titles to her credit.

All championship scoring at the local, sub-regional 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 final 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.

2015 Drive, Chip and Putt Championship National Finalists

Girls 7-9

Finalist Name

Points

Hometown

Qualifying Region

Summer Lee

127

Plano, Texas

South Central

Jessica Guiser

124

Hartland, Wis.

Upper Midwest

Jayla Kucy

108

Camrose, Alberta, Canada

Rocky Mountain

Molly Smith

106

Tyngsboro, Mass.

Northeast

Vanessa Borovilos

104

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Great Lakes

Meghan Paracuelles

102

Folsom, Calif.

West

Victoria Matthews

101

Great Falls, Va.

Middle Atlantic

Charlie Whorton

93

Springdale, Ark.

Midwest

Efthemia (Effie) Perakis

89

Glenview, Ill.

Central

Gloria Nip

85

Conshohocken, Pa.

Southeast

 

Girls 10-11

Finalist Name

Points

Hometown

Qualifying Region

Mackenzie Lee

150

North Little Rock, Ark.

South Central

Katherine Schuster

140

Kill Devil Hills, N.C.

Middle Atlantic

Neysa Dechachutinan

133

Birmingham, Ala.

Southeast

Kelly Xu

128

Santa Monica, Calif.

West

Lydia Swan

120

North East, Pa.

Great Lakes

Berlin Long

118

Lehi, Utah

Rocky Mountain

Julia Misemer

118

Overland Park, Kan.

Midwest

Kynadie Adams

106

Gallatin, Tenn.

Central

Megha Ganne

101

Jersey City, N.J.

Northeast

Camille Kuznik

95

Brooklyn Park, Minn.

Upper Midwest

 

Girls 12-13

Finalist Name

Qualifying Points

Hometown

Qualifying Region

Christine Shao

147

Green Brook, N.J.

Northeast

Megan Chou

141

Los Altos, Calif.

West

Morgan Goldstein

140

Las Vegas, Nev.

Rocky Mountain

Ashley Gilliam

136

Manchester, Tenn.

Southeast

Aayushi Sarkar

134

Woodbury, Minn.

Upper Midwest

Parker Stalvey

131

Elgin, S.C.

Middle Atlantic

Brooke Boardman

128

Waukee, Iowa

Midwest

Christine Wang

126

Houston, Texas

South Central

Caroline Smith

120

Inverness, Ill.

Central

Anika Dy

116

Traverse City, Mich.

Great Lakes

 

Girls 14-15

Finalist Name

Qualifying Points

Hometown

Qualifying Region

Jennifer Rosenberg

156

Laurel Hollow, N.Y.

Northeast

Jessica Ponce

153

Portland, Ore.

Rocky Mountain

Gina Kim

150

Chapel Hill, N.C.

Middle Atlantic

Leila Dizon

149

Los Angeles, Calif.

West

Alexandra Swayne

139

Maineville, Ohio

Central

Abbey Daniel

136

Covington, La.

Southeast

Emily Lauterbach

136

Hartland, Wis.

Upper Midwest

Nia Station

128

Omaha, Neb.

Midwest

Ariana Saenz

119

Porter, Texas

South Central

Olivia Zambruno

117

Mount Pleasant, Pa.

Great Lakes

 

Boys 7-9

Finalist Name

Qualifying Points

Hometown

Qualifying Region

Jay Leng, Jr.

144

Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.

West

Grayson Wood

135

Fredericksburg, Va.

Middle Atlantic

Chance Rinkol

119

Leawood, Kan.

Midwest

John Hiller

115

New York, N.Y.

Northeast

Daniel Zou

115

Humble, Texas

South Central

Logan Medcalf

111

Lynden, Wash.

Rocky Mountain

Peyton Blackard

110

Fort Branch, Ind.

Central

Maxwell Tjoa

106

Cedar Falls, Iowa

Upper Midwest

PJ Maybank

103

Cheboygan, Mich.

Great Lakes

Tristan Wieland

102

Jupiter, Fla.

Southeast

 

Boys 10-11

Finalist Name

Qualifying Points

Hometown

Qualifying Region

Isaiah Swan

156

North East, Pa.

Great Lakes

Marcus Holling

142

Grand Island , Neb.

Midwest

Abhay Gupta

136

Concord, N.C.

Middle Atlantic

Jonas Appel

134

Encinitas, Calif.

West

Satchel Pierce

133

Union, Mich.

Central

Benjamin Stoller

133

Owasso, Okla.

South Central

Avery Lazarski

132

Las Vegas, Nev.

Rocky Mountain

Joseph Lenane

130

Boston, Mass.

Northeast

Jake Peacock

127

Alpharetta, Ga.

Southeast

Ryan Blair

121

Oakbank, Manitoba, Canada

Upper Midwest

 

Boys 12-13

Finalist Name

Qualifying Points

Hometown

Qualifying Region

George Duangmanee

166

Fairfax, Va.

Middle Atlantic

Conner Willett

151

Wellesley, Mass.

Northeast

Ben Stone

142

Spokane, Wash.

Rocky Mountain

Shane Ffrench

142

San Diego, Calif.

West

Connery Meyer

140

Marietta, Ga.

Southeast

Maxwell Moldovan

139

Uniontown, Ohio

Great Lakes

Dongsoo Lee

136

Fayetteville, Ark.

South Central

Jordan Jurmu

134

Marquette, Mich.

Upper Midwest

Drew Dunham

133

Angola, Ind.

Central

Jason Cruise Jr.

119

Bellevue, Neb.

Midwest

 

 Boys 14-15  

Finalist Name

Qualifying Points

Hometown

Qualifying Region

Matthew Camel

169

Greenwich, Conn.

Northeast

Toby Wilson

164

Bartlett, Tenn.

Southeast

T.K. Schultz

160

Bulverde, Texas

South Central

Grant Herrenbruck

154

Salina, Kan.

Midwest

Samuel Pyon

151

Happy Valley, Ore.

Rocky Mountain

Connor Glynn

149

Waconia, Minn.

Upper Midwest

Colin Ffrench

146

San Diego, Calif.

West

Everett Whiten Jr.

144

Chesapeake, Va.

Middle Atlantic

Coalter Smith

134

Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.

Great Lakes

Jimmy Morton

114

Sugar Grove, Ill.

Central