Sunday, April 2nd, 2017


Golf Channel Notable Quotes
2017 Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals (8 a.m.-1 p.m. ET on Golf Channel)
Sunday, April 2, 2017
Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Ga.

Earlier this morning, 40 boys and 40 girls convened at Augusta National Golf Club for the 2017, Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals to officially kick off Masters week. The 80 finalists represented a collection of junior golfers from across the U.S. and Canada, making up an exceptional field having advanced from more than 250 local and 50 sub-regional events, culminating in 10 regional qualifiers. Golf Channel’s coverage of the National Finals showcased all 80 participants in the field during the course of the telecast (8 a.m.-1 p.m. ET), in the network’s fourth year of carrying the event live. Below is a list of those recognized for winning their respective age group, along with a collection of notable quotes from the event:

7-9 Division (Maye Huang – Katy, Texas)
10-11 Division (Lucy Yuan – San Diego, Calif.)
12-13 Division (Alexa Pano – Lake Worth, Fla.)
14-15 Division (Savannah Grewal – Mississauga, Ontario)

7-9 Division (Carter Gaede – Manhattan Beach, Calif.)
10-11 Division (Liam Hartling – Redlands, Calif.)
12-13 Division (Zachary Colon – Bolton, Mass.)
14-15 Division (Mason Quagliata – Scottsdale, Ariz.)

On the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals
Rich Lerner – “You have to tip your cap to all three organizations behind this event, the PGA of America, the USGA and the Masters Tournament Foundation. The sport is really united in a way that we have not seen 15-20 years ago.”
Peter Jacobsen – “We all have the common denominator amongst all these organizations in golf – we love the game. We all may have different goals. But the most important thing is we’re trying to grow it and get more people into this fabulous game of golf.” 

World Golf Hall of Fame member Annika Sorenstam speaking with Paige Mackenzie
“This is my first experience here at the Drive, Chip and Putt… This is amazing, and these girls are super talented. It’s fun to see, and it’s a thrill to be here… This is an experience of a lifetime… I know that once they leave here, they will never stop talking about it.” 

World Golf Hall of Fame member Nancy Lopez speaking with Mackenzie
“To be able to promote golf to these young people – they’re the future of golf. And so to be able to be a part of this… This is awesome to be here. What a great experience for these children.”

2015 Masters champion Jordan Spieth speaking with Michael Breed
“The Masters really is an eight day celebration [with this event]. This is so special for these kids. This is a dream come true for these kids to come to Augusta, just like it’s a dream come true for us to be able to play here. It’s unique.”

2-time Masters champion Bubba Watson speaking with Steve Sands
“What a dream come true. These young kids get to be great champions, remember something, and inspire themselves for years and years to come.”

1992 Masters champion Fred Couples speaking with Sands
“Just to watch [this event] and see it grow and grow and grow… It’s just not going to stop. It’s my opinion that in six or eight years, one of these kids will be playing in this tournament. It will be an unbelievable accomplishment.”

1998 Masters champion Mark O’Meara speaking with Sands
“It’s just one of the most special things that a young person can experience. It just amazes me the poise that these young people have. A day like this is just going to continue to grow the game.” 

Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club & the Masters Tournament, Billy Payne
“It is so exciting. Tremendous amount of energy here and a great way to start our Masters week. But importantly, I think we’re showcasing the game. And hopefully there are kids at home watching and some of them are getting interested in the game of golf and wanting to compete.” 

USGA President Diana Murphy speaking with Sands
“What we’ve learned is that golf is much stronger when the USGA works with the PGA of America and the Masters Tournament to bring this to national exposure. We’ve been terrifically surprised by the volume of participants all over the country. I think it really says a lot about the excitement of the game as we work together.”

PGA of America President Paul Levy speaking with Sands
“Our professionals are really the tangible connection we feel with the grassroots – the people who play the game and with the youth and all the young boys and girls playing in this championship – it’s a great opportunity for them to connect with a PGA professional… It’s a great opportunity for the whole family to be exposed to golf.”

2017 Masters Tournament Invitee Kevin Kisner speaking with Breed
“What a cool experience for these kids. They’re going to cherish for the rest of their lives… If these kids don’t get excited about the game after doing this, I don’t know what we can do to get them more excited.”

Louis Oosthuizen speaking with Mackenzie
“I saw a 14-year-old hit it 304 [yards], so I’m pretty scared to tee up my driver later and see the numbers…  It’s great for the game. It’s unbelievable to see the young kids and I think they’re having a great time the Sunday prior to the tournament. Hopefully it will inspire them to play more golf.”

Lee Westwood speaking with Sands
“I think Augusta [National] puts a smile on everyone’s faces to be honest. I think it’s just one of those special places… These kids are like me… growing up watching the Masters… I just think they love coming and treading on the same turf, and hitting on the same range and putting on the same greens. It must be a real thrill for them.”

Beginning tomorrow (Monday), April 3, Golf Channel will commence its nearly 90 hours of live news and Masters-themed programming, led by the network’s signature Golf Central Live From the Masters news coverage, focusing on emerging storylines, analysis, features and guest interviews throughout the week surrounding the first men’s major of 2017. Notable guests expected to appear currently include past Masters champions Jack Nicklaus, Ben Crenshaw and Raymond Floyd.

–NBC Sports Group–