Here's how 11-year-old Michigan boy gets to tee it up at Augusta on eve of Masters
Bentley Coon has punched his ticket to Augusta National.
Coon, an 11-year-old from Horton, Michigan, won the 10-11 boys division of the local Drive, Chip and Putt qualifier Saturday at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Township.
Coon won the driving portion of the event with 58 points, and finished with 144 total points to win his division by six points. He will participate in the eighth Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals on Sunday, April 3, before the start of the Masters at Augusta National in Georgia.
Coon said after winning the event, he enjoys practicing near home — Horton is located southwest of Jackson — with anybody he can get to take him to the course.
“Grandpa, Dad, Mom, Grandma, anybody,” said Coon, competing in a blue Michigan football Jumpman zip-up. “I don’t care if they play with me.
"I just like to go out there and have fun.”
Oakland Hills was one of 10 qualifier sites, and featured 92 golfers who had advanced from local qualifiers. There were four age divisions for boys and girls, eight winners in all, ages 7 to 15. Eighty young golfers advance to Augusta.
Golfers at the qualifiers were given three shots in each discipline, with each shot worth up to 25 points each.
Coon was the only Michigan golfer to advance out of the Oakland Hills site.
Other division winners included Calista Hann (girls 7-9; Lewis Center, Ohio), Maya Keuling (girls 10-11; Carmel, Indiana), Athena Singh (girls 12-13, Morehead, Kentucky), Mia Hammond (girls 14-15, Crooksville, Ohio), Matthew White (boys 7-9, Lexington, Kentucky), Jacob Thompson (boys 12-13, Lexington, Kentucky) and William Redden (boys 14-15, Evansville, Indiana.
The Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals is run by the USGA, Masters and PGA of America.
Two-time Masters champ Bubba Watson has been a regular at the trophy presentation, as have other PGA Tour stars, often including the defending Masters champion, which in 2022 will be Hideki Matsuyama.
In 2018, Cheboygan's PJ Maybank won his division at Augusta.
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