AUGUSTA, GA (WTOC) -It was hardly what could be called a bright morning in Augusta for the start of Masters Week, until you saw how Augusta National shined with the smiles of young golfers in the Drive, Chip and Putt national finals.
Opportunity and experience once again one-upped performance at Augusta National in an event that is now a tradition, just as much as it has always been a treasure.
“Walking through history,” says Ian Brunchauser, who came from Alaska for the tournament. “Everything was perfect. There was not a blade of grass out of place.”
40 boys and 40 girls got the chance to compete at Augusta in the Drive, Chip and Putt national finals, which in six years has become the most prestigious event in junior golf, attracting kids from all across the country including Hawaii and Alaska this year, as well as Savannah.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Kate Barber. Barber competed in the girls 12-13 division. “It was great to be here at Augusta and get to play.”
The Barbers from Savannah were one of the families living a lifetime memory on Sunday morning. Kate’s third-place finish in the Girls 12-13 Division making one of her best experiences even better.
“She looked at me and said ‘how did I finish third?” repeated her father Andrew Barber. “I said ‘you were in the middle the whole time.’ She said, 'well, I’m not mad at that.”
She’ll return home with not only a trophy and a photo with a three-time Masters champion, but also the inspiration to keep competing, and keep trying to get back to where she was on Sunday.
“It’s amazing because this is a course where the pros play in the Masters,” says Barber. “Hopefully I’ll be here again next year.”
Kate’s Augusta experience doesn’t end just yet. She and her dad have tickets for tomorrow’s practice rounds and will come out again and see the whole golf course for the start of Masters Week.
WTOC will be live at the Masters all week long with team coverage