Sunday, April 1st, 2018


Notable Quotes – 2018 Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals (Golf Channel)
Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Ga.
Sunday, April 1, 2018

Earlier today, 40 boys and 40 girls convened at Augusta National Golf Club for the 2018 Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals to officially kick off Masters week. The extraordinary field of 80 national finalists advanced from more than 260 local qualifying events, followed by 53 sub-regional and 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.-1:15 p.m. ET) in the network’s fifth consecutive year of showcasing the annual event live. Below is the list of national finalists having won their respective age group, along with a collection of notable quotes from the event:

7-9 Division (Ella June Hannant, Pikeville, N.C.)
10-11 Division (Vanessa Borovilos, Toronto, Ont., Canada)
12-13 Division (Sara Im, Duluth, Ga.)
14-15 Division (Katherine Schuster, Kill Devil Hills, N.C.)

7-9 Division (Taighan Chea, Bothell, Wash.)
10-11 Division (Tip Price, Greenville, S.C.)
12-13 Division (PJ Maybank III, Cheboygan, Mich.)
14-15 Division (Brendan Valdes, Orlando, Fla.)

On the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals
Rich Lerner – “What has really become a signature day in the sport. It used to be Sunday of the Masters which belonged to the legends of the game. Now it’s the Sunday before the Masters. And this belongs to the dreamers – the kids.”
Peter Jacobsen – “The drama – especially with a playoff in final age division – it’s just incredible to see the smiles. To see the talent and consistency.”
Paige Mackenzie – “In my experience, I was a really competitive young junior golfer. But what I remember is the relationships, and the names of all the young girls I competed against. So the more girls that are out there, it’s going to enrich their lives, not just their golf game.”
Charlie Rymer – “You get involved in this game, it just opens up so many doors and creates so many friendships that end up just being very meaningful in many ways throughout your entire life.”

Fred Ridley, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and The Masters Tournament speaking with Steve Sands
Fred Ridley – “This event remains one of the most meaningful endeavors in the history of our club. Our goal here is to inspire lifelong passion for the game of golf. And if our participation helps, then we’ve accomplished our missions… I would just like to say how inspired we all are by each and every one of these kids. And I’m pretty confident that the game of golf has a great future.”

President of PGA of America, Paul Levy and President of USGA, Mark Newell speaking with Sands
Mark Newell – “We believe that the 80 terrific juniors who are competing here today represent the next generation of golf champions. And they show us what the future of the game is about. People from all walkways of life. From golf communities and 50 states and beyond. And with amazing stories that all come together around this great game we love.”
Paul Levy – “This is the greatest game in the world, and we think that this event is really growing the game. We’re seeing a lot of young boys, young girls who are getting their families involved and taking up the game for the first time because of the exposure of this event.”

Three-time Masters champion Nick Faldo speaking with Sands
Nick Faldo – “Arnold Palmer always said it best… All his speeches were, ‘We’re the custodians of this game. We’ve got to pass on the honor and integrity of this game.’… So these young kids have got to learn it. And I hope some of the spectators outside the ropes also appreciate how cool this game is.”

2013 Masters champion Adam Scott speaking with Sands
Adam Scott – “This is such a great initiative. Five years in, it’s just getting stronger and stronger. And the kids are just as excited as anyone else to be here.”

2017 Masters champion Sergio Garcia speaking with Sands
Sergio Garcia – “It’s great to see all these kids out here. You can see the nerves and that some of them are trying too hard, but it’s understandable. It brings back great memories.”

1998 Masters champion Mark O’Meara speaking with Sands
Mark O’Meara – “These young individuals competing at Augusta National… To me I don’t think I could have done it at that age. And I’m totally amazed at their ability and their talent to perform at an incredible level on such a hallowed piece of ground… I just think it’s a great event to have to kick off this week’s event.”

World Golf Hall of Fame member Annika Sorenstam speaking with Sands
Annika Sorenstam – “You see this young talent and go ‘wow, this is very inspiring.’ Nice to see them having such a good time… I think it’s really important when they hear ‘golf’ that they think fun… Here, it is about competition, but… If they don’t leave with a smile on their face, there’s something wrong. This is incredible. This is the future of golf.”

World Golf Hall of Fame member Nancy Lopez speaking with Sands
Nancy Lopez – “It is so fun to watch these kids be so poised and so competitive already… I think you see the parents here and they’re so supportive. They’re probably more nervous than the kids are. Because you want them to succeed.”

Golf Channel will dedicate more than 150 hours to Masters-themed programing April 1-8, led by Golf Central Live From the Masters, focusing on emerging storylines, analysis, features and guest interviews throughout the week surrounding the first men’s major of 2018. Notable guests expected to join Golf Channel’s coverage include past Masters champions: Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo, Ben Crenshaw, Tom Watson and Raymond Floyd.

-NBC Sports Group-