DRAPER — Utah’s Victoria Romney will get the thrill of a lifetime when she participates in the annual Drive, Chip and Putt competition Sunday at the famed Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, on the eve of the Masters.
The 12-year-old Romney, who is a seventh-grader at Draper Middle School, will compete with 79 other youths between the ages of 7 and 15 in the national finals of a competition that began last summer.
“I’m way excited,” said Romney, who traveled to Augusta with several family members on Thursday. “Overall, I’m just trying to win the whole thing.”
She said she’s most excited about ”putting on the 18th green” during the competition and “driving down Magnolia Lane” when she arrives at the tournament.
Romney, who has been an avid golfer since the age of 3, calls putting the best part of her game, followed by chipping and driving. In the competition, she will get two drives on the driving range, two chips and two putts on the No. 18 green.
Romney said her favorite golfer is Phil Mickelson, but she also roots for Tiger Woods, now that he’s making a comeback.
She doesn’t necessarily see herself as a professional golfer, but she plans to keep playing through high school and college.
“It’s a lot of fun,” she said of playing golf.
Romney was one of two golfers to qualify out of local competition last summer after which she advanced to a subregional. Then in September, she was the only golfer in her age group to advance at Torrey Pines GC in San Diego. Ten girls will compete in her age group.
The Drive, Chip and Putt is a joint initiative by the Masters Tournament, United States Golf Association and The PGA of America. The Golf Channel will broadcast the Drive, Chip and Putt event live Sunday morning.