Local golfer preps for Drive, Chip & Putt Finals

- For the last couple of years, Masters week has started with the Drive, Chip and Putt Championships. Kids from around the country, from seven to 15 compete in the skills challenge on golf's biggest stage. For one local junior golfer, it won't be her first time at Augusta National, but it will be her first time bringing her clubs down Magnolia Lane.

"I still think I'm going to be surprised because I'm going to be able to walk on the grounds of Augusta National, inside the ropes and be able to hit balls there. It's going to be an experience that I'll remember for a lifetime," says Skylar Thompson.

Thompson, from Buford, has wanted this for a while.  Sunday she will compete at Augusta National in the girls 14 and 15 year old age group, the oldest allowed in the competition, which means this was her last chance

"Last year I didn't make it to Augusta. I got 97 points, I came in last place at the regional qualifier. I worked really, really hard to get to this point and it's been something that has been a real big accomplishment for me. I finally get to realize my dream," says Thompson.

"It was exciting to see someone come out that had passion and desire. That seems to be the missing link it what I see with most kids today," says Dave Anderson, Thompson's golf coach.

Thompson puts in a ton of time with Anderson at Olde Atlanta Golf Club. In the two years they've worked together, Anderson says her game has grown tremendously.  The 5'11'' lefty can boom it.  She considers driving one of the strong points of her game, but says she's just as good on the green

"She can drive it really well and she's also a good putter. So she's kind of got two swords versus one going into battle which is really fun," says Anderson.

Putting at Augusta National is its own beast. Even the pros make it look hard, but Thompson says she knows what shes in for

"I guess they're going to be 'tournament speed' so I'm just trying to prepare as best I can. Putting on wood, just trying to simulate the speed of it," says Thompson.

No matter what happens Sunday, Skylar Thompson will be able to say she has competed at Augusta National, every golfers dream.
 

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