They are among 80 to compete in top U.S. & Canadian field
Four days before golf’s greatest players compete in the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club, 10 determined young competitors from The First Tee chapters around the country will showcase their skills and walk those same hallowed grounds during the Drive, Chip & Putt National Finals on Sunday, April 7.
Together, they are among 80 junior golfers representing 27 U.S. states and four Canadian provinces to compete in this year’s field. It is a free, nationwide youth golf development program open to girls and boys, ages 7-15. It tests junior golfers’ accuracy in driving, chipping and putting essential to the game, and taps their competitive spirit.
Competing in Drive, Chip & Putt National Finals may be as big a dream to these youth as the iconic green jacket is to Masters Tournament champions. Their road to Augusta began with local qualifying in May, June and July, held at more than 260 sites throughout the U.S. The top three scorers per venue, in each of the four age categories in separate boys and girls divisions, advanced to 50 subregional qualifiers in July and August. Two juniors in each age and gender division then competed at the regional level in September and October.
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 Golf Channel. Megha Ganne, from The First Tee of Metropolitan New York, made history as the first junior to qualify for the Drive, Chip & Putt Finals four times in the event’s six-year existence.
Meet the 10 First Tee Participants Competing in the 2019 Drive, Chip & Putt Finals
First Tee Chapter
|Mia Cepeda||Hawaii||Kaaawa, HI||Girls 12-13|
|Ryder Carlson||Three Rivers Park District||Minnetonka, MN||Boys 10-11|
|Luciano Giangrossi||Greater Chicago||Evanston, IL||Boys 7-9|
|Megha Ganne||Metropolitan New York||Holmdel, NJ||Girls 14-15|
|Bryson Hughes||North Florida||St. Johns, FL||Boys 10-11|
|Sophia Li||Metropolitan New York||Fresh Meadows, NY||Girls 10-11|
|Gabriella Moorehead||the Triad||Burlington, NC||Girls 7-9|
|Grady Ortiz||Pikes Peak||Colorado Springs, CO||Boys 7-9|
|Michael Quallich||Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh, PA||Boys 7-9|
|Paige Radebach||Mid-Michigan||Webberville, MI||Girls 7-9|