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DRIVE, CHIP AND PUTT REGIONAL CHAMPIONS EARN INVITATIONS TO NATIONAL FINALS AT AUGUSTA NATIONAL GOLF CLUB - INCLUDING INDIANA'S ALEC CASARE

October 5th, 2018

Content courtesy of the USGA

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.

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.