CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Maybe you’ve heard of the punt, pass, and kick competition organized by the NFL.
In golf, there’s the drive, chip, and putt competition.
It’s held every year leading up to The Masters, and this year Charlotte is represented by 13-year old Clinton Daly.
About 8,000 kids started the competition, but Daly is one of just 80 who earned the right to make the trip to golf’s hallowed grounds.
“I’m just looking forward to being able to putt on one of the greens, or hit drives onto the course,” Daly said. “It’ll just be a great experience.”
Making the championship is not easy. Daly made it through three rounds of qualifying. Last year he missed out on advancing by just one spot.
“On the last putt I kind of blew it by,” Daly said. “If I would have just hit that one semi-close I would have made it to the next stage.”
This year, while qualifying at Pinehurst, it was his chipping that helped seal the visit to Augusta.
“I hit the first one close, then I flubbed the next one, and then I made the last one,” Daly recalls.
Clinton’s dad, John Daly, said it happened so quick he barely saw it.
“The next thing I knew, it was in,” Daly said. “I just looked up [to the sky], and I said, ‘thank you’.”
It was perfect execution of the mental game Daly sees in his favorite golfer, Jordan Spieth.
“You have to put in extra time in order to eliminate the bad shots,” Daly said. “They’re never going to be completely eliminated, because even the guys on the tour hit it in the water or hit it out of bounds. But that’s what motivates me.”
Rob Hughes>> Daly met one of his goals just by making it to Augusta.
“Yeah, pretty much,” Daly said. “But I still really want to win.”
The Drive, Chip, and Putt Championship begins Sunday morning at 8 am. The entire event can be see live on the Golf Channel.
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