She may have been nervous, but Las Vegas’ Morgan Goldstein managed to keep herself composed long enough to win the 2015 Drive, Chip &Putt skills competition Sunday at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga.
Goldstein, 13, won the girls 12-13 age group with a score of 30, defeating nine other finalists. The Faith Lutheran eighth-grader won all three elements of the competition, hitting the longest drive among the 10 competitors in her age group, a distance of 243 yards, chipping in on her first try, and holing out a 15-foot putt on her second putt attempt at Augusta National’s 18th green.
“It’s amazing,” Goldstein said. “I was here last year when my brother competed and it means so much to me to come here and win.”
Avery Lazarski, a 10-year-old from Las Vegas, finished eighth in the boys 10-11 age group. In all, 80 girls and boys in eight different age groups from 7 to 15 participated in Sunday’s finals.
Goldstein hoped she could do as well as her brother Aidan did a year ago when he finished fourth in his age group in the inaugural Drive, Chip &Putt skills competition. After outdriving the other girls in her group, holing out a chip on her first try and draining the second putt attempt, she was at the top of the leaderboard.
“I was really shaking on the chip but I knew I could hole it out,” said Goldstein, who like her fellow competitors, went through three rounds of preliminary competition before reaching Sunday’s final. “When I stepped up to the ball, it was just me, the ball and the hole or just me, the ball and the range. I just blocked out the crowd and the scoreboard.”
Lazarski, a fourth-grader at Las Vegas Day School, was the youngest competitor in his age group. His best drive was 170½ yards, and his best chip came 9 feet, 6 inches from the pin. His closest putt was 2 feet, 6 inches from the hole. His 13-point total was 13 behind the winner, Jake Peacock of Alpharetta, Ga.
Contact reporter Steve Carp at email@example.com or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter: @stevecarprj.