Three Michigan Kids Qualify for Drive, Chip & Putt Finals
Written By: ssmiley@gam.org

Drive, Chip and Putt Regional Champions Earn Invitations
to National Finals at Augusta national golf club

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Eighty junior golfers representing 27 U.S. states and four Canadian provinces have earned an invitation to Augusta National Golf Club to compete in the sixth annual Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals, to be played on Sunday, April 7, 2019, prior to the start of the Masters Tournament.

Conducted in partnership between the Masters Tournament, the PGA of America and the USGA, Drive, Chip and 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 the game – accuracy in driving, chipping and putting.

Results of the 10 regional qualifiers – the third and final stage leading to the 2019 National Finals at Augusta National Golf Club – yielded 15 returning competitors, including impressive four-time finalists Megha Ganne, Treed Huang and Vanessa Borovilos. Returning finalists are:

  • Vanessa Borovilos (2018 Girls 10-11 National Champion and 2016, 2015 National Finalist), of Toronto, Ontario
  • Caitlyn Chin (2016 National Finalist), of Greenwood Village, Colo.
  • Megha Ganne (2018, 2017 and 2015 National Finalist), of Holmdel, N.J.
  • Nolan Haynes (2016, 2014 National Finalist), of Barberton, Ohio
  • Maye Huang (2017 Girls 7-9 National Champion), of Katy, Texas
  • Treed Huang (2018, 2017 National Finalist and 2014 Boys 7-9 National Champion), of Katy, Texas
  • Sara Im (2018 Girls 12-13 National Champion), of Duluth, Ga.
  • Jay Leng, Jr. (2015 Boys 7-9 National Champion), of La Jolla, Calif.
  • Patmon Malcom, Jr. (2018 National Finalist), of Alpharetta, Ga.
  • Kasey Maralack (2018 National Finalist), of Snoqualmie, Wash.
  • PJ Maybank (2018 Boys 12-13 National Champion), of Cheboygan, Mich.
  • Julia Misemer (2015 National Finalist), of Overland Park, Kan.
  • Madilyn Newman (2017 National Finalist), of Knoxville, Tenn.
  • Sahish Reddy (2018 National Finalist), of Duluth, Ga.
  • Kathryn VanArragon (2016 National Finalist), of Blaine, Minn.

 

Local qualifying for the sixth season began in May and was held at 290 sites throughout all 50 states this summer. The top-three scorers per venue, in each of the four age categories in separate boys and girls divisions, advanced to 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, including several U.S. Open and PGA Championship venues.

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 the 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:

  • After posting identical scores of 141 at the end of the regional qualifier at Whistling Straits Golf Course (2004, 2010, 2015 PGA Championship and 2020 Ryder Cup host), Sarah Balding edged friend Shannyn Vogler to win the Girls 14-15 division in a playoff. Balding, whose sister is a collegiate golfer at DePauw University said, “It was nerve-wracking but there are little things I tell myself that my sister taught me to help me calm down.” In the Boys 10-11 division, Ryder Carlson punched his ticket to the National Finals with a score of 109, edging out the rest of his division by three points. According to his father, Ryan Carlson, Ryder was named after the Ryder Cup.
  • Paige Radebach first picked up a golf club less than a year ago, but that didn’t stop her from winning the Girls 7-9 division by 10 points at Muirfield Village Golf Club (site of the Memorial Tournament). “My full name is Paige Alexandria Radebach, so my initials are PAR,” she said. “I was born to play golf.” PJ Maybank returns to Augusta National after winning last year’s Boys 12-13 national title. A dominating performance in the putting competition resulted in 70 points in the skill and a place atop the Boys 12-13 regional division. He credits the good play to his superstition of wearing two different colored shoes for good luck.
  • Angela Zhang won the Girls 7-9 division at Chambers Bay Golf Course (2015 U.S. Open Championship host), hitting a 215-yard drive en route to posting a final score of 120. Earlier this year, she received an ‘A’ in school for her drawing of Augusta National’s 12th hole, Golden Bell. Now, she’ll have a chance to see the hole in person for the first time this April. After rolling his 30-foot putt next to the cup, Ian Bruchhauser won the Boys 14-15 division with 140 points, making him Alaska’s first National Finalist. Due to cold, wintry conditions in Alaska, Bruchhauser only has two-and-a-half months of outdoor practice time at his home course.
  • After a 142-point performance in the regional qualifier at Congressional Country Club (2011 U.S. Open Championship host), Megha Ganne won the Girls 14-15 division to become a four-time National Finalist. “It never gets old,” she said. “I wish there was no age limit. This is my last year, and I’m really excited to be going back.” In the Boys 12-13 division, Matthew Vital advanced to the National Finals in his first trip to regional qualifying and his fourth overall attempt in Drive, Chip and Putt. “I’m looking forward to being there,” he said. “It looks like such a cool place on TV.”
  • After stellar performances in the regional qualifier at The Club at Carlton Woods (site of the 2014 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship), both Maye and Treed Huang will make return trips to Augusta not only as National Finalists and Drive, Chip and Putt champions, but also as sister and brother. Maye Huang, the 2017 Girls 7-9 National Champion, won the Girls 10-11 division to secure her second appearance in the National Finals. Older brother Treed Huang, the 2014 Boys 7-9 National Champion and 2017 and 2018 National Finalist, will make his record-tying fourth trip to the National Finals after winning the Boys 14-15 division by three points. The Huang siblings have advanced to Augusta National together once before, previously in 2017. “[Maye] is a big factor in my game, to have someone to practice with every day,” Treed said. “We compete a lot and that brings each of our games to a higher level.”
  • On Victoria Kuranga’s fourth attempt to reach the National Finals, the 13-year-old’s dream became reality at The Honors Course (site of the 2016 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship) with an 11-point win in the Girls 12-13 division. She’s hoping to bring back a Tiger Woods autograph from Augusta. Matthew Troutman, winner of the Boys 14-15 division, scored 179 total points to qualify for his first National Finals. He is coached by PGA professional Mike Thomas, father of 2017 PGA Championship winner and PGA Tour Player of the Year Justin Thomas.
  • Milan Norton edged the competition by four points to win the Girls 7-9 division at Torrey Pines Golf Course (2008 and 2021 U.S. Open Championship host). She claims her “Best Day Ever” socks helped provide the luck needed to reach Augusta National. “I knew it was going to be the best day ever when I put on the socks,” said Norton. Jay Leng, Jr., winner of the Boys 12-13 division, will make a return appearance to the National Finals. Needing to make a 30-foot putt to advance, Leng drained the putt to win by a point, finishing with the day’s top score (157 points). The putt was reminiscent of the one he made in a playoff at the 2015 National Finals to win the Boys 7-9 division.
  • Vanessa Borovilos claimed a 20-point victory in the Girls 12-13 division at Winged Foot Golf Club (2006 and 2020 U.S. Open Championship host) to qualify for the National Finals for the fourth time. She will attempt to win back-to-back championships after winning the 2018 Girls 10-11 national title a year ago. Carter Lavigne, winner of the regional Boys 7-9 division, traveled nearly 700 miles from New Brunswick, Canada, to compete in the regional qualifier. He started playing mini-golf at age 2, regular golf at age 4 and, by age 6, beat his dad for the first time. “People don’t ask [who beat who] anymore,” said dad Darsey Lavigne.
  • At last year’s National Finals, Kate Barber attended as a patron. After winning the Girls 12-13 division at TPC Sawgrass (site of The Players), she’ll be bringing her golf clubs to Augusta National this year. “The first thing I’m going to do when I get to Augusta National is eat an egg salad sandwich,” she said. Ryan Nana Tanke gave up a ticket to the Ryder Cup in Paris to compete in the Boys 7-9 division, but the gamble paid off with a win and an invitation to the National Finals.  Nana Tanke lives mostly in Paris, but spends two months annually in Florida, where he is coached by PGA Master Professional Warren Bottke, who first taught the game to two-time U.S. Open champion, PGA Championship winner and Ryder Cup participant Brooks Koepka.
  • Julia Misemer, four years removed from an appearance in the 2015 National Finals, will return to Augusta National after winning the Girls 14-15 division at Bellerive Country Club (2018 PGA Championship host). She won her division by 43 points, hitting two drives more than 260 yards and making putts of six and 30 feet. Isaac Rumler needed a 30-foot putt to win the Boys 10-11 division and advance to his first-ever National Finals. With the pressure on, he calmly made the putt to claim the victory by two points. “I want to see the pros first,” he said. “Hopefully I will meet some.”

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 winner 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 best 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 Drive, Chip and Putt, please visit www.DriveChipandPutt.com.

 

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REGIONAL QUALIFYING RESULTS

Qualifying sites:

 

Date                    Host Site                                                       City, State

Sept. 8                 Whistling Straits Golf Course                    Sheboygan, Wis.                                                          

Sept. 8                 Muirfield Village Golf Club                        Dublin, Ohio

Sept. 9                 Chambers Bay Golf Course                         University Place, Wash.

Sept. 9                 Congressional Country Club                      Bethesda, Md.

Sept. 16                              The Club at Carlton Woods                        The Woodlands, Texas

Sept. 16                              The Honors Course                                       Ooltewah, Tenn.

Sept. 22                             Torrey Pines Golf Course                             San Diego, Calif.

Sept. 23                              Winged Foot Golf Club                                Mamaroneck, N.Y.

Sept. 29                             TPC Sawgrass                                                Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

Sept. 29                             Bellerive Country Club                                 St. Louis, Mo.

 

 

Qualifying results:

 

Girls 7-9

Name

Points

City

State/Province

Regional

Lilian She

82

Buffalo Grove

Illinois

Whistling Straits

Paige Radebach

81

Webberville

Michigan

Muirfield Village

Angela Zhang

120

Bellevue

Washington

Chambers Bay

Mckenzie Mueller

87

Wake Forest

North Carolina

Congressional CC

Sophia Giga

104

Frisco

Texas

The Club at Carlton Woods

Gabriella Moorehead

74

Burlington

North Carolina

The Honors Course

Milan Norton

102

Las Vegas

Nevada

Torrey Pines

Alexandra Phung

87

Forest Hills

New York

Winged Foot Golf Club

Briel Royce

105

Lake Nona

Florida

TPC Sawgrass

Taya Belloma

86

Centerville

Iowa

Bellerive Country Club

 

Girls 10-11

Name

Points

City

State/Province

Regional

Bella Leonhart

137

Marine on St. Croix

Minnesota

Whistling Straits

Beka Yang

96

Sylvania

Ohio

Muirfield Village

Anna Jiaxin Huang

138

Vancouver

British Columbia

Chambers Bay

Ellen Yu

106

High Point

North Carolina

Congressional CC

Maye Huang

128

Katy

Texas

The Club at Carlton Woods

Elle Marie Reisner

109

Atlanta

Georgia

The Honors Course

Alexis Vakasiuola

130

San Tan Valley

Arizona

Torrey Pines

Sophia Li

123

Fresh Meadows

New York

Winged Foot Golf Club

Ariana Silva

115

Sunrise

Florida

TPC Sawgrass

Caitlyn Chin

115

Greenwood Village

Colorado

Bellerive Country Club

 

Girls 12-13

Name

Points

City

State/Province

Regional

Kathryn VanArragon

139

Blaine

Minnesota

Whistling Straits

Sophie Stevens

120

Novi

Michigan

Muirfield Village

Yana Wilson

134

Henderson

Nevada

Chambers Bay

Sydney Yermish

132

Wynnewood

Pennsylvania

Congressional CC

Ava McGoey

140

Metairie

Louisiana

The Club at Carlton Woods

Victoria Kuranga

138

Decatur

Georgia

The Honors Course

Mia Cepeda

145

Kaaawa

Hawaii

Torrey Pines

Vanessa Borovilos

125

Toronto

Ontario

Winged Foot Golf Club

Kate Barber

120

Savannah

Georgia

TPC Sawgrass

Chunya Boonta

131

Centennial

Colorado

Bellerive Country Club

 

Girls 14-15

Name

Points

City

State/Province

Regional

Sarah Balding

141

Brookfield

Wisconsin

Whistling Straits

Madilyn Newman

114

Knoxville

Tennessee

Muirfield Village

Kasey Maralack

150

Snoqualmie

Washington

Chambers Bay

Megha Ganne

142

Holmdel

New Jersey

Congressional CC

Ryan Ko

120

Plano

Texas

The Club at Carlton Woods

Sara Im

139

Duluth

Georgia

The Honors Course

Emiko Sverduk

151

Long Beach

California

Torrey Pines

Nicole Gal

146

Oakville

Ontario

Winged Foot Golf Club

Talia Rodino

148

Fort Myers

Florida

TPC Sawgrass

Julia Misemer

142

Overland Park

Kansas

Bellerive Country Club

 

Boys 7-9

Name

Points

City

State/Province

Regional

Luciano Giangrossi

126

Evanston

Illinois

Whistling Straits

Michael Quallich

83

Pittsburgh

Pennsylvania

Muirfield Village

Maverick Stocker

114

Everett

Washington

Chambers Bay

Rayhao Feng

129

Short Hills

New Jersey

Congressional CC

Chase Hughes

106

Oklahoma City

Oklahoma

The Club at Carlton Woods

Conner Ford

124

Mount Vernon

Kentucky

The Honors Course

Benny Nelson

123

Los Angeles

California

Torrey Pines

Carter Lavigne

108

Moncton

New Brunswick

Winged Foot Golf Club

Ryan Nana Tanke

116

Palm Beach Gardens

Florida

TPC Sawgrass

Grady Ortiz

104

Colorado Springs

Colorado

Bellerive Country Club

 

Boys 10-11

Name

Points

City

State/Province

Regional

Ryder Carlson

109

Minnetonka

Minnesota

Whistling Straits

Sahish Reddy

112

Duluth

Georgia

Muirfield Village

Aiden Tiet

121

Milpitas

California

Chambers Bay

Mihir Roperia

131

Cranbury

New Jersey

Congressional CC

Aadi Parmar

131

Selma

Texas

The Club at Carlton Woods

Patmon Malcom, Jr.

131

Alpharetta

Georgia

The Honors Course

Ryder Rasmussen

151

San Juan Capistrano

California

Torrey Pines

Andy Mac

141

Candiac

Quebec

Winged Foot Golf Club

Bryson Hughes

160

St. Johns

Florida

TPC Sawgrass

Isaac Rumler

126

Silvis

Illinois

Bellerive Country Club

 

Boys 12-13

Name

Points

City

State/Province

Regional

Joseph Luchtenburg

139

West Chicago

Illinois

Whistling Straits

PJ Maybank

119

Cheboygan

Michigan

Muirfield Village

Jonathan Miller

147

Roseville

California

Chambers Bay

Matthew Vital

141

Bethlehem

Pennsylvania

Congressional CC

Ryder Cowan

133

Edmond

Oklahoma

The Club at Carlton Woods

Hudson Wilt

153

Nashville

Tennessee

The Honors Course

Jay Leng, Jr.

157

La Jolla

California

Torrey Pines

James Bradley

139

East Hampton

New York

Winged Foot Golf Club

Garret Ebbert

155

Longwood

Florida

TPC Sawgrass

John Guerra

132

St. Louis

Missouri

Bellerive Country Club

 

Boys 14-15

Name

Points

City

State/Province

Regional

Joshua Pehl

155

Sugar Grove

Illinois

Whistling Straits

Nolan Haynes

133

Barberton

Ohio

Muirfield Village

Ian Bruchhauser

140

Anchorage

Alaska

Chambers Bay

Nathan Drogin

137

Essex Fells

New Jersey

Congressional CC

Treed Huang

150

Katy

Texas

The Club at Carlton Woods

Matthew Troutman

179

Louisville

Kentucky

The Honors Course

Tyler Kowack

153

San Diego

California

Torrey Pines

Owen Walsh

147

Katonah

New York

Winged Foot Golf Club

Andrew McLauchlan

145

Neptune Beach

Florida

TPC Sawgrass

Alec Cesare

168

Westfield

Indiana

Bellerive Country Club

 

 

About Drive, Chip and Putt

 

A joint initiative founded in 2013 by the Masters Tournament, USGA and the PGA of America, Drive, Chip and Putt 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, Drive, Chip and Putt provides aspiring junior golfers an opportunity to play with their peers in qualifiers around the country. Participants who advance through local, subregional 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 broadcast live by Golf Channel. For more information, 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 masters.com.

 

 

About the USGA


The USGA celebrates, serves and advances the game of golf. Founded in 1894, we conduct many of golf’s premier professional and amateur championships, including the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open. With The R&A, we govern the sport via a global set of playing, equipment and amateur status rules. Our operating jurisdiction for these governance functions is the United States, its territories and Mexico. The USGA Handicap System is utilized in more than 40 countries and our Course Rating System covers 95 percent of the world’s golf courses, enabling all golfers to play on an equitable basis. The USGA campus in Liberty Corner, New Jersey, is home to the Association’s Research and Test Center, where science and innovation are fueling a healthy and sustainable game for the future. The campus is also home to the USGA Golf Museum, where we honor the game by curating the world’s most comprehensive archive of golf artifacts. To learn more, visit usga.org.

 

About the PGA of America

The PGA of America represents the very best in golf. For more information about the PGA of America, visit PGA.org, follow @PGAofAmerica on Twitter and find us on Facebook.

 

 
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