Sunday, April 3rd, 2016


Golf Channel Notable Quotes
2016 Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals (9 a.m.-1 p.m. ET on Golf Channel)
Sunday, April 3, 2016
Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Ga.

**Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals Trends on Twitter**
The Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals was trending on Twitter earlier today, thanks to a total volume in excess of 155,000 tweets between 1 p.m. ET on Saturday through 1 p.m. ET today (more than +4,250% vs. 2015, according to Spredfast Intelligencer). This tremendous response on social media, which was fully integrated into Golf Channel’s telecast, additionally saw Drive, Chip and Putt’s potential reach exceed 622 million people, which is 1800% more than 2015’s reach via Twitter. Golf Channel’s tweet about Justin Timberlake and Niall Horan surprising the kids practicing for the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals has already garnered more than 21,779 retweets and 44,400 favorites.

Girls 7-9 – Emerson Blair (West Point, Miss.)
Boys 7-9 – Stephen Hernandez (Houston, Texas)
Girls 10-11 – Alexa Pano (Lake Worth, Fla.)
Boys 10-11 – Christian Kim (Vernon Hills, Ill.)
Girls 12-13 – Kayla Sam (Anaheim Hills, Calif.)
Boys 12-13 – Ty Griggs (Manteca, Calif.)
Girls 14-15 – Alyssa Montgomery (Knoxville, Tenn.)
Boys 14-15 – Michael Thorbjornsen (Wellesley, Mass.)

On the significance of the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals being held at Augusta National
Peter Jacobsen – “This has definitely taken on its own personality. We talk about Masters Sunday and we all know where we want to be, either here at Augusta or watching in front of our television. But here, today, this is really exciting and it’s about fun and it’s about family.”

Jacobsen – “The [finalists] have worked so hard, it’s so impressive. They’re so confident, they’re self-reliant and their anticipation for today you could really feel it.”

World No. 1 Jason Day speaking with Golf Channel’s Michael Breed
Jason Day – “Just to see the kids light up.. it’s pretty special to be able to be in a place like this. As a kid growing up I never had the opportunity to be able to come to a place like this. It’s probably a dream come true for these kids… It really is truly a unique thing that they’ve got going on here at Augusta National.”

Singer / Song Writer Niall Horan of One Direction speaking with Golf Channel’s Steve Sands
Niall Horan – “How these [finalists] have the nerve at 7 to 15 years of age to just step up there and do this is just incredible… These kids are an inspiration, and it’s a great thing that Augusta, the USGA and the PGA [of America] have got together and done this. And these are the [players] that we’re going to be watching in years to come. We’ve all met – over the past couple of days – a future Masters winner possibly.”

Two-time Masters Champion Bubba Watson speaking with Sands
Bubba Watson – “This is special. It really jerks at my heart a lot, watching and knowing that my adopted kids, maybe they get a chance to do this like dad… When you watch these kids take their hats off and you shake their hands, they’re learning. That’s what the game of golf is teaching them. No matter what they do in life, they’re learning etiquette, dedication and drive.”

2013 Masters Champion Adam Scott speaking with Sands
Adam Scott – “What an incredible experience for these kids, and to see how much they love the game. It’s fantastic to see them striving to want to be here.”

Matt Kuchar speaking with Golf Channel’s Kay Cockerill
Matt Kuchar – “You see these kids with so much enthusiasm for the game. And I think that’s what we all strive for, and we all have – somewhere inside of us – that enthusiasm. We love seeing them get excited when a ball goes in, or hit a good drive. To see a kid just really smile and pump their first and show their emotions, like kids do.”

Keegan Bradley speaking with Cockerill
Keegan Bradley – “The parents seem a lot more nervous than the kids… My parents made sure golf was fun for me… The golf course was a fun place for me first and foremost… It’s just amazing that they’re able to come out here and putt to the holes at Augusta.”

Three-time Masters Champion Nick Faldo speaking with Sands
Nick Faldo – “I can imagine the hype and excitement for a month before coming [here] and the whole journey… I can’t think of anything better for youngsters to really be getting their teeth into. You can see their emotions and they’re giving it their all.”

1998 Masters Champion Mark O’Meara speaking with Sands
Mark O’Meara – “To able to come on to this property and perform at a high level in the competition… That’s something they’ll never forget. They’ll remember it the rest of their life. The memories, the pictures. Whether they become professional golfers or not, I think this just sets a great standard for them for the rest of their life.”

U.S. Amateur champion Bryson DeChambeau speaking with Cockerill
Bryson DeChambeau – “First off, it’s the future of the game. I have to come out here and support these junior golfers because it’s where I was not too long ago… All those local programs are so important to these junior kids around the world. They’re growing the game, they really are. And that’s what it’s about here today.”

Billy Payne, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and The Masters Tournament
Billy Payne – “The magnitude of the undertaking is staggering. Hundreds of qualifiers in all 50 states, tens of thousands of kids. It’s quite an effort. And were it not for the professionals with the PGA of America or the assistance of the sections of the USGA it just couldn’t happen. So we have the easy part to be honest about it, but we’re delighted to be part of it.”

Derek Sprague, President, PGA of America
Derek Sprague – “The Drive, Chip and Putt initiative, with the USGA and Augusta National, is just something that all of our PGA professionals embrace. We’re just delighted to be a part of it and to really deliver the game to these kids.”

Diana Murphy, President, USGA
Diana Murphy – “We are so proud to be part of Drive, Chip and Putt… To be able to do something like this and really introduce golf to a whole new group of juniors is one of the most exciting things we’ve ever been partnered with.”

Alexa Pano (Lake Worth, Fla., Girls 10-11 champion) speaking with NBC Sports’ Michele Tafoya
Alexa Pano – “I’m literally so excited because two years ago [competing in the 2014 National Finals] it’s haunted me hitting those two drives out of bounds… I was so excited two years ago just to be here, and I’m even more excited now to win.”

Ty Griggs (Manteca, Calif., Boys 12-13 champion) speaking with Tafoya
Ty Griggs – “Words can’t really explain how happy I am to come here and win… I’ve always loved [The Masters] … I just wanted to make [the final putt] so I could celebrate afterwards.”

Alyssa Montgomery (Knoxville, Tenn., Girls 14-15 champion) speaking with Tafoya
Alyssa Montgomery – “It’s just so amazing. It’s the best thing ever… You get all those nerves going and you think about every little thing. You’ve got to try and put it out of your mind and go out there and do what you do.”

Michael Thorbjornsen (Wellesley, Mass., Boys 14-15 champion) speaking with Tafoya
Michael Thorbjornsen – “This was great. Especially on Augusta National, coming here was such a great experience. I don’t have words to say how well I’m feeling right now.”

Kayla Sam (Anaheim Hills, Calif., Girls 12-13 champion) speaking with Tafoya
Kayla Sam – “It means everything… All of these players are really good, and all the pressure has kind of helped me. It’s made me more confident.”

Stephen Hernandez (Houston, Texas, Boys 7-9 champion) speaking with Tafoya
Stephen Hernandez – “It’s coming from mystical reasons… I don’t know what happened, this is a dream!”

Emerson Blair (West Point, Miss., Girls 7-9 champion) speaking with Tafoya
Emerson Blair – “I wanted to make the two putts and win. It feels really good, and I’m really happy.”

Christian Kim (Vernon Hills, Ill., Boys 10-11 champion) speaking with Tafoya
Christian Kim – “It’s been awesome. I’m really grateful for everything my family has done.”

-NBC Sports Group-