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Month: March 2016

Two JTNC Members Headed to Augusta National for Drive, Chip and Putt Finals

March 30, 2016

Two Junior Tour of Northern California members will tee it up at Augusta National Golf Club prior to the likes of Jordan Spieth, Jason Day and Rory McIlroy.

Sofia Young of Benicia and Ty Griggs of Manteca will be among 80 juniors who are set to compete in the third annual Drive, Chip and Putt Championship National Finals to be held Sunday, April 2, prior to the start of the Masters.

Young will be playing in the Girls’ 14-15 Division, while Griggs will compete in the Boys’ 12-13 Division. Also representing Northern California will be Jayden Lizama of Elk Grove, who ‘ll be part of the Boys’ 7-9 Division.

Junior Tour of Northern California

Sofia Young

A joint initiative by the Masters Tournament, the United States Golf Association and the PGA of America, the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship is a free nationwide junior competition focusing on the three fundamental skills employed in golf, tapping the creative and competitive spirit of girls and boys, ages 7-15.

Junior Tour of Northern California

Ty Griggs

All championship scoring at the local, sub-regional and regional qualifiers is based on a 25-point-per-shot basis, with each participant taking three shots per skill. Each participant accumulated points per shot in all three skills (maximum of 75 points per skill = 25 points per shot x 3). The overall champion in each age category was determined by the participant with the most points accumulated between all three skills (maximum of 225 points = 75 points per skill x 3).

For each skill, the point system is based in incremental distance measurements, rewarding accuracy and distance in the drive skill, and proximity for chipping and putting skills. Difficulty increases with age.

At Augusta National, one champion will be named from each age/gender division. Each final will be scored based on a 30-point system, offering the player with the longest drive 10 points, the player with the closest cumulative chips 10 points and the player with the nearest cumulative putts 10 points, in each separate skill. The highest total composite score will determine the winner.

JTNC Alums Bryson DeChambeau, Maverick McNealy and The King


Stanford junior Maverick McNealy simply described it as “awesome.” Bryson DeChambeau, meanwhile, called it “a thrill.”

That included not only the golf, but also being around The King.

McNealy, who won last year’s NCGA Amateur Match Play Championship, and DeChambeau, who hails from Clovis, had a weekend to remember playing at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Playing in the same group with Rory McIlroy, DeChambeau carded a final 6-under 66 to finish T-27. In a little less than three weeks, the 22-year-old 2015 U.S. Amateur champion will play in his first Masters.

Bryson DeChambeau Rory McIlroy


“I was pretty darn comfortable out there,” said DeChambeau, the 2011 Junior Tour of Northern California Boys’ Player of the Year. “My first time on the Tour (at the FedEx Cup St. Jude Classic) it was a little nerve-wracking. Rory and I were feeding off of each other. It was great to get that experience. You could see what momentum is. We had a lot of fun out there.”

Also playing via a sponsor’s exemption, the 20-year-old McNealy soaked it up every minute as well.

“I think the biggest thing I need to improve is my driving,” said McNealy, who T-46 thanks in part to an opening 69. “That sets up every shot and it’s incredible how much more difficult it is to play out of the rough on the PGA Tour than it is versus the rough in college. It takes really, really good golf to compete with these guys.”

Of course, the two also got to spend some precious time with The King.

DeChambeau, who plans to turn pro after the Masters, had previously met Palmer briefly at the Walker Cup practice session with Captain ‘Spider’ Miller and the rest of the squad. This time, he got to visit with Palmer in his office.

“That’s a moment I’ll never forget,” DeChambeau said.

Also a former member of the JTNC, McNealy was followed by Palmer over the back-nine on Thursday.

“Playing the back-nine at the Arnold Palmer Invitational with Mr. Palmer watching was the coolest golf experience in my life,” McNealy said. “This is something I’m going to tell my kids and grandkids about.”

Jerry Stewart

JTNC Alum Hannah O’Sullivan Named to Curtis Cup

NCGA member and former Junior Tour of Northern California member Hannah O’Sullivan will be representing the Stars and Stripes at this year’s Curtis Cup.

Recently, O’Sullivan, who lives in Arizona but is a member at the Olympic Club, was among eight players named by the USGA to the 2016 USA Curtis Cup team. Th championship will be held June 10-12 at Dun Laoghaire Golf Club in Enniskerry, Ireland outside Dublin.

Currently the No.2 ranked women’s amateur in the world, O’Sullivan won the 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur by a 3-and-2 margin over Brooks at Portland (Ore.) Golf Club. Earlier in the year, she won the Symetra Tour’s Gateway Classic, becoming the tour’s first amateur winner since Kellee Booth in 1999 and the youngest since Cristie Kerr in 1995.

Junior Tour of Northern California Hannah O'Sullivan

Hannah O’Sullivan with the hardware from last year’s U.S. Women’s Amateur.

Set to become a freshman at USC this fall, O’Sullivan also earned victories in the 2015 Rolex Girls Junior Championship and 2015 Rolex Tournament of Champions. She’d partner with Robynn Ree to finish runner-up to Liu and Rinko Mitsunaga in the 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball at Bandon Dunes, and she finished tied for 53rd in the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open at Lancaster (Pa.) Country Club.

Joining O’Sullivan on the USA squad will be:

  • Sierra Brooks, 17, of Sorrento, Fla.
  • Mariel Galdiano, 17, of Pearl City, Hawaii
  • Andrea Lee, 17, of Hermosa Beach, Calif.
  • Mika Liu, 17, of Beverly Hills, Calif.
  • Hannah O’Sullivan, 17, of Chandler, Ariz.
  • Bailey Tardy, 19, of Peachtree Corners, Ga.
  • Monica Vaughn, 21, of Reedsport, Ore.
  • Bethany Wu, 19, of Diamond Bar, Calif.

The Curtis Cup Match is a biennial international women’s amateur golf competition between eight-player teams from the United States of America and Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I). It consists of six foursomes (alternate-shot) matches, six four-ball matches and eight singles matches over three days of competition.

Robin Burke, the 1997 U.S. Women’s Amateur runner-up and a member of the victorious 1998 USA Curtis Cup Team, will serve as USA captain.


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