SAN DIEGO — Next week, the nation will be watching the Masters Golf Tournament on CBS, but before the pros tee off, two young San Diegans will take center stage. In this Zevely Zone, I met San Diego's two Drive, Chip and Putt finalists.
For this story I wore my authentic Masters Golf Tournament jacket and matching shirt because this Sunday, when a weeks worth of golf festivities tee off, I'll be watching Hana McGarry (11) Emma Bush (15) on national television.
Tens of thousands of young golfers compete in the Drive, Chip and Putt, but only the top eighty golfers go to the National Finals at Augusta National. San Diego's finalists had to win the local, the sub-regional and the regional events to go to the finals.
11-year-old Hana McGarry hit her first golf ball at 7 years old. As Hana grew, so did her confidence and strength. She eventually won her first tournament and sank her first hole in one. The 6th grader says there's nothing better than hitting the sweet spot of a golf ball. "It feels very satisfying because of how much work I have put into it," said Hana. She enjoys beach days and plays the piano, but golf is where she plans to hit it big. "I hope that I can become the number one LPGA golfer," said Hana.
As for 15-year-old Emma Bush, she is a competitive fencer and started playing golf at the age of seven as well. Emma wants to play for a high school state championship and maybe in college, but first she's focused on the Masters. "I am just so excited, it is such a historic place for golf and there have just been so many famous shots and famous golfers there, I just can't believe I am going to be in that same place where all of those amazing things have happened," said Emma.
She started competing in the Drive, Chip and Putt eight years ago. She has known the agony of defeat and now the thrill of victory. "Yeah, it's all worth it now all of those years," said Emma.
When the golfers go to Augusta, I asked them if there is one golfer that they are dying to meet? "Jordan Spieth," said Hana. "I think it would be really cool to see Jordan Spieth," said Emma.
They both say they will be nervous playing on national television but offer this advice to young golfers watching. "Definitely the first thing would be patience with yourself and not giving up," said Hana. "Don't focus on results, just try to get your swing as smooth as possible and have fun with it," said Emma.
The 2023 Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals will take place on Sunday, April 2, 2023 – the eve of the Masters Tournament – and will air live on the Golf Channel. You can also watch coverage of the Masters Golf Tournament on CBS all week long.
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