Blog 299, 4/16/14 - Young Lynden Golfer Appears in Drive Chip & Putt Finals at Augusta National

Last August, Logan Medcalf from Lynden qualified for the inaugural Drive, Chip & Putt finals to be played at Augusta National the weekend before the Masters. Nine-year-old Logan won his age bracket at the Golf Club at Hawks Prairie to book his place at Augusta. We just had to ask him what it was like to compete at the home of the Masters Tournament, and how nervous he was treading the same turf as the greatest players in the history of the game.

How long have you been playing golf, and where do you play?

I have been playing for seven years and I play at Bellingham Golf and Country Club. I started out at the Hitting Zone in Bellingham just hitting balls and then we moved to Raspberry Ridge Golf Course for a couple of years, until we were ready for 18 holes.
When did you first hear about Drive, Chip and Putt, and did you immediately think you should enter?
I don't know. My mom signed me up after seeing something on the internet.
How did you qualify for Augusta?
There was a local qualifier down in Seattle at the Meridian Golf Club and then the regional qualifier at Hawks Prairie. The top two made it from the local and only the top person from the regional moved on to Augusta. My driving really helped me win the regional because I was able to score points with all three drives in the grid.
Did you know much about Augusta National and the Masters?
Yes, I have watched it on TV.
Did you know where Augusta is?
Yes, it is in Georgia.
Who went with you to Augusta?
My family - mom, dad, my brother, grandma and grandpa, Auntie Gabrielle, and great Uncle John.
How nervous were you?
Not that nervous ("he seemed as cool as a cucumber," - Mom).
Where exactly did the competition take place - on the par 3 course, on a specific hole of the main course?
The Drive and Chip took place on the Masters Practice Ground, and two of the three putts were on the practice putting green by the clubhouse. The third putt was on the 18th green.
What was the format?
There were eleven competitors in each age group (boys and girls 7-9, 10-11, 12-13, 14-15). The best performer at each skill won 11 points, the second best 10, and so on down to one point. The winner of the competition was the player with the highest accumulated points total.
We each hit two drives, and kept our longest. We hit two chip shots and our total distance from the hole was recorded, and we hit three putts - from six, 20 and 30ft. Again, total distance from the hole was recorded.
So how did you do?
I finished second overall with 25 points out of 33. I got eight points for driving, 11 points for chipping, and six for putting. I finished two points behind the winner Treed Huang from Katy, TX.
Who did you meet, and did you get to go inside the clubhouse?
I met Condolezza Rice, Bubba Watson, Louis Oosthazen, Jordan Speith, Jason Day, Billy Horschel, Keegan Bradley, Graham McDowell, Brandt Snedeker, Harris English, a bunch of the Golf Channel people, and the best was Fred Couples. Fred took me out on the 10th tee box under the ropes and had me chip with his club to a sprinkler head. Then he asked me lots of questions about being from Washington, and even made a video that he said he is going to send us. We had breakfast and lunch inside the Founders Room and even got to drive down Magnolia Lane.
What impressed you most about the club?
Oh man, the greens. They were super fast and hard to putt on.
Have you sent in your application for 2014 yet?
My application has already been submitted - all the kids who made it to the final round at Augusta automatically have the chance to go back.

Logan, brother Jordan, and Fred Couples.

Logan used his left-hand-low style to good effect in the driving, scoring eight points.

What a thrill to putt on the 18th green.

Collecting his trophy from a club member for finishing second. Well played Logan!

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