COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Every April, golf’s biggest stars gather at Augusta National for the playing for the Masters tournament. But before they hit the course, kids from across the nation get their chance to compete on the famed grounds.
The Drive, Chip and Putt championship takes place the Sunday before the tournament begins. Dublin’s Brady Barnum will be there for the second time. He competed for the first time in 2018 at 9 years old.
“The first shot, you really get shaken up. Because you’re at Augusta National and you’re like oh my God, oh my God, oh my God, oh my God,” said Brady. “I know what it’s like to be there now. I’ll still be a little nervous, but I probably won’t be as nervous as I was the first time. I was also a lot younger, so I didn’t know what to expect.”
Brady actually qualified for this year’s competition in 2019, but the 2020 competition was postponed to this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“When it was canceled, I was like, ‘Oh no. Am I going to be able to go back? When’s it going to happen? I’m very fortunate to have this opportunity,'” said Brady.
Each golfer will hit two drives, two chips, and two putts. The boy and girl in each age group with the most points using their scoring system. For Brady, now 12 years old, this is a chance at redemption.
“Definitely. But I also want to have fun but I also want to win,” said Brady.
And he hopes this isn’t his last time competing on the course either.
“Whenever the teacher is not looking or I have time when I’m not doing stuff, I’ll be drawing Augusta holes or something like that,” said Brady. “I really, really want to be there for the tournament. I really want to play the course there. It’s just a great experience to be able to go for the Drive, Chip and Putt before and then get prepared for whatever happens in the rest of your golf career.”
And Brady won’t be the only golfer from Central Ohio competing this weekend; 13-year-old Kristina Ma from Columbus is competing for the first time.
You can watch the Drive, Chip and Putt competition on Sunday, April 4, starting at 8:00 a.m. on the Golf Channel.