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Headline: Three Bay State Junior Golfers - Brian Glennon, Gabrielle Shieh & Zachary Colon - Prepare For Augusta Trip of Their Own
For Immediate Release: March 28, 2017
|Four junior golfers with Bay State ties will seek a Drive, Chip & Putt National Title on April 2.|
Norton, MA — While the world’s best golfers will come together at Augusta National Golf Club next week to compete for the title of “Masters" Champion, a group of 80 boys and girls will also be showcasing their skills and seeking their own equivalent of a green jacket – the title of Drive, Chip and Putt Champion.
This Sunday, April 2nd, golf’s version of the NFL’s Punt, Pass and Kick Competition - the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship - will host its National Finals at Augusta Nationa Golf Club. It marks the last stop on a nearly year-long tour for some of the nation’s top junior golfers.
A joint initiative founded in 2013 by the Masters Tournament, United States Golf Association and The PGA of America, the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship 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, the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship provides aspiring junior golfers an opportunity to play with their peers in qualifiers around the country. Participants who advance through local, sub-regional 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 is broadcast live by Golf Channel.
For three young golfers with ties to MGA Member Clubs, and the fourth who is a former resident of the Bay State, Sunday’s final at Augusta National Golf Club is a chance to continue the legacy that Massachusetts golf has had on this national golf stage.
Brian Glennon (Cohasset GC), Gabrielle Shieh (Marlborough CC) and Zachary Colon (The Haven CC) were three of the 80 junior golfers who advanced through the three rounds of qualifying. Also joinnig the Bay State trio in Georgia this weekend will be Alexa Pano, who was born in Westborough and later moved to Florida with her family. In addition to placing third and first in the last two Drive Chip and Putt National Finals, she was the subject of the 2013 award-winning documentary “The Short Game,” which followed eight youngsters as they trained for, then competed in, the 2012 US Kids Golf World Championship in Pinehurst, N.C.
This year marks the fourth year the competition has been held and this talented group will look to continue the success of other Massachusetts golfers who’ve competed in the final stage of competition. Last year, Michael Thorbjornsen of Wellesley won the 14-15-year-old division at Augusta after collecting 23 points between his three drive, chip and putt chances.
Glennon, of Hingham and competing in the boys 14-15-year-old division, surpassed the local qualifying round at Granite Links GC and then was victorious at both the sub-regional qualifier at Lebaron Hills CC and the regional qualifier at The Country Club. This will be Glennon's first trip to the National Finals.
Shieh, of Carlisle, is competing in the 14-15-year-old division. She took the same road as her counterpart Glennon, qualifying at Granite Links GC, Lebaron Hills CC and The Country Club, respectively. She’ll be making her first trip to the National Finals in what is her second attempt, after advancing to the sub-regional round in 2015. Shieh has also previously qualified for the 2016 U.S. Junior Girls' Championship in addition to the New England PGA Junior Championship in each of the last five years.
Colon, the final of three Massachusetts competitors, advanced from Cyprian Keys GC , Renaissance GC and The Country Club and is making his first trip to Augusta National Golf Club in what is his fourth year of competing in the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship. Previously, the Bolton resident finished fifth at the 2013 Regional Final and the 2015 Sub-Regional. He is the defending NEPGA Player of the Year for 12-13 year olds.
Following Sunday’s National Final, the Drive Chip and Putt staff and volunteers won’t have much time off as the local qualifiers for next year’s tournament will begin in early May.
In Massachusetts alone, five clubs are set to host qualifiers in 2017, with The International GC (June 27), The Ranch GC (July 11), The Bay Club at Mattapoisett (July 11) and Granite Links GC (July 26) each hosting local qualifiers.
In addition, Pinehills Golf Club, site of the 2017 MGA Amateur Public Links Championship, will also host one of the 53 sub-regional qualifiers at their course on August 16.
Registration remains opens for all sites and is open, free of charge, to all boys and girls who are at least 7 years of age on Sunday, April 1, 2018, and may not be older than 15 years of age on Sunday, April 1, 2018. For more information on the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship or to view the list of qualifying sites, visit www.drivechipandputt.com.
Sunday’s National Final will be broadcast live on The Golf Channel beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday.