Pinehurst to host 2017 Drive, Chip and Putt Regional

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To get to Augusta National, you may have to go through Pinehurst.

That will, at least, be the case for several participants in the 2017 Drive, Chip and Putt Championship, which announced recently Pinehurst will serve as one of 10 regional sites in September.

“A hallmark of Pinehurst’s history has been its affection for the amateur golfer, and in many cases, the young amateur player,” said Pinehurst Director of Golf Ben Bridgers. “We are honored to participate in the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship. We believe it adds to Pinehurst’s legacy as a home for amateur golf, a legacy that includes the century-old North & South Amateurs, past U.S. Men’s and Women’s Amateurs as well as the U.S. Kids Golf World championship events. We look forward to welcoming these tremendously talented young players to Pinehurst.”

The regional, which is the third and final stage in qualifying for the championship, will crown a winner from each age and gender category. Those winners will then advance to the Championship Final, which is played at Augusta National on Sunday, April 2, 2017, the eve of the 2017 Masters.

Photo by USGA's John Mummert

Pinehurst will host its regional on Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016. Online registration for competition is available at www.DriveChipandPutt.com, and opened this week.

“A hallmark of Pinehurst’s history has been its affection for the amateur golfer, and in many cases, the young amateur player. We are honored to participate in the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship. We believe it adds to Pinehurst’s legacy as a home for amateur golf.” – Pinehurst Director of Golf Ben Bridgers. “

Now in its fourth year, the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship aims to help younger generations begin their lifelong connection with golf by providing a fun, interactive platform for participants of all skill levels. This free youth golf development initiative welcomes boys and girls ages 7-15 to participate in separate divisions in four age categories. Local qualifying will take place throughout all 50 states during the months of May, June, July and August. Top performers at the local level will advance through subregional and regional qualifiers in July/August and September, respectively. The top 80 performers – 40 boys and 40 girls – will earn an invitation to the National Finals at Augusta National.

The regional qualifying sites include some of the country’s premier major championship sites: Pinehurst, Riviera Country Club, Olympic Club, Baltusrol Golf Club, Medinah Country Club, Oakmont Country Club, Hazeltine Country Club, Southern Hills, The Country Club and TPC Sawgrass.

Connor Willett, from Wellesley, Mass. (boys' 10-11 division) reacts in a pose that looks familiar to one we know well after making his putt on the 18th hole during the 2014 Drive, Chip and Putt Championship. (Photo by GolfWeek)

Connor Willett, from Wellesley, Mass. (boys’ 10-11 division) reacts in a pose that looks familiar to one we know well after making his putt on the 18th hole during the 2014 Drive, Chip and Putt Championship. (Photo by GolfWeek)

Widely known as the cradle of American golf, Pinehurst has served as host to more single golf championships that any other site in America, with events including the U.S. Open, PGA Championship, Ryder Cup Matches, PGA Tour’s TOUR Championship, U.S. Women’s Open and many others. Its most revered golf course, Pinehurst No. 2, is considered one of the game’s architectural masterpieces and was recently restored to Donald Ross’ original vision. In 2014, Pinehurst and No. 2 played an unprecedented role, serving as the site for the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open in consecutive weeks.

Pinehurst Country Club member Nicole Adam, daughter of Jeff and Dawn Adam, will participate in the 2016 Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at Augusta National in April. She won the Girls’ 12-13 age bracket at Congressional in September.

Lucy Li, who famously stole the show at the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst No. 2 after qualifying at age 11, won the inaugural Drive, Chip and Putt Championship earlier that year.

Local qualifying for the 2017 championship will begin Sunday, May 8 at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., and continue through the summer in all 50 states. The breakdown and schedule of the 2017 Drive, Chip and Putt Championship qualifying is as follows:

Stage 1: Local Qualifying (May/June/July/August)
256 host sites spread throughout all 50 states
3 juniors advance in each age/gender category from every venue

Stage 2: Subregional Qualifying (July/August)
50 host sites spread throughout 31 states
2 juniors advance in each age/gender category from every venue

Stage 3: Regional Qualifying (September)
10 host sites in 10 defined regions
1 junior advances in each age/gender category from every venue

Stage 4: Championship Final (April 2, 2017)
80 total participants at Augusta National Golf Club

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