Drive, Chip, and Putt: A local wins a national title for the first time
The National winners (Drive, Chip and Putt Photo)
The National winners (Drive, Chip and Putt Photo)

Recap by Bill Fields of Drive, Chip, and Putt

On the 10th anniversary of the Drive, Chip and Putt – which has drawn thousands of entrants and sent 721 young golfers to the National Finals since its debut in 2014 – a native of Augusta, Ga., won a national title for the first time.

Participants from 31 states, Canada, and Australia competed in the 2024 Drive, Chip, and Putt National Finals, but Sunday’s event at Augusta National Golf Club featured a decidedly local angle.

On the 10th anniversary of the Drive, Chip and Putt – which has drawn thousands of entrants and sent 721 young golfers to the National Finals since its debut in 2014 – a native of Augusta, Ga., won a national title for the first time.

The hometown hero having a moment like that of Larry Mize—the Augustan who won the 1987 Masters in a playoff over Greg Norman—was 13-year-old Kipp Madison, who used strong driving and chipping performances to triumph in the Boys 12-13 division.

“I just can’t believe I won,” said Kipp, one of eight left-handed golfers in the field. “I thought getting here was winning, but to actually win, it is a dream come true. There are so many people here. My mom's friends, some of my little brother's friends. There's three or four of them here. The fact that I get to share it with a dozen people or so is just incredible.”

The first division to be completed was Boys 14-15, which set the tone for an exciting morning. Zachary Schaefer of Tucson, Ariz., rallied with an excellent putting performance, stroking his 30- and 15-foot putts 10 inches from the cup to put the pressure on Connor Holden of Canby, Ore., who had a two-point lead through two disciplines.

Holden rose to the occasion, though. Needing his 15-footer to finish within two feet in order to win, he rolled his putt to 1 foot, 5 inches after settling down prior to his final attempt.

“I had a lot of pressure on that last putt just to get it within two feet,” Connor said. “I’m happy I did it. I'm proud of myself and it's just a great experience. I was definitely really nervous and had to take a lot of deep breaths to calm my nerves a little bit. That last putt, I know it’s fast, so I barely had to even hit it.”

Accuracy and power were on full display from the youths who advanced from 350 local qualifiers, 61 subregionals and 10 regional events. In Girls 7-9, won by Trisha Lobo of Collegeville, Pa., the two drives of each of the 10 participants finished within the 49-yard-wide grid. In Girls 14-15, four players, led by Ariel Collins’ 264.8-yard effort, surpassed the longest drive in that division in DCP history, a 251.2-yard hit by Ali Mulhall in 2021.

Hudson Knapp of Marietta, Ga., competing in Boys 10-11, was bidding to become the fourth Drive, Chip and Putt two-time champion, having won the Boys 7-9 division in 2022. Hudson got off to a winning start in driving and was second in putting. His 25 total points came up just short of the tally earned by 11-year-old Texas Terry, who was third, first and third in the three disciplines, respectively, to finish with 26 points.

Texas, a fifth grader from Austin, secured the title by cozying his 15-footer three inches from the cup on the 18th green, the scene of triumphs by his favorite golfers, Scheffler and Jordan Spieth.

“It just comes with work,” Texas said of his confident mindset. “When you’re at the golf course every day for a couple of hours, it builds confidence. And when you’re under pressure, you have that confidence that it’s going to be all right.”

Madison Pyatt of Eureka, Mo., knows about effort and perseverance, having dealt with illness and injury to become a National Finalist in Girls 7-9. Boosted by a win in the Drive, where her longest attempt was 198.7 yards, she edged Adelyn Owen of Corinth, Texas, for the title.

“I’ve been practicing so hard for two years,” said Madison, who has excelled in multiple sports despite experiencing some health issues. “And now the hard work has finally paid off.”

View results for Drive, Chip and Putt Championship
ABOUT THE Drive, Chip and Putt Championship

Founded in 2013 jointly by the Masters, USGA and PGA of America the Drive, Chip and Putt is an event for junior golfers ages 7-15. Throughout the year qualifiers are held around the country before the finals are held the Sunday before the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club. Boys and girls will compete in separate divisions in four age categories: 7-9 years old; 10-11 years old; 12-13 years old; and 14-15 years old.

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