It's time for a Masters practice-round drive, chip and putt

Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

It's time for a Masters practice-round drive, chip and putt

Amateur

It's time for a Masters practice-round drive, chip and putt

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AUGUSTA, Ga. — For all of their rules and regulations, the lords of Augusta sure put players in a mindset to perform at their best.

Following Jennifer Kupcho’s stunning win Saturday in the inaugural Women’s Amateur, the Drive, Chip and Putt kids continued Sunday with equally awe-inspiring levels of performance. It’s just not that easy to be thrown out onto the grounds of Augusta National in the morning hours and provide clutch moments. But the magic happened again, this time with two participants sinking both of their putts on the 18th green.

Some of the world’s best players in this week’s field could not match that feat if you gave them a bucket of balls and all the time in the world.

Which is maybe why it’s time to see what the big boys would do in Drive, Chip and Putt.

For all of the joy this event brings the children, family, friends and patrons who attend, the format seems boxed in as a staple of Masters festivities and little else. More tournaments at all levels of golf should try a fun drive, chip and putt kickoff to festivities and realize there are other ways to enjoy the sport besides turning in a score.

So how about a Masters Drive, Chip and Putt?

Yes, yes, today’s ultra-serious pros are here to prepare for a major, so having a competition identical to the real DCP format might be cumbersome. But practice-round patrons here might really love to see the contestants get a drive or two measured at the eighth hole, hit a tricky chip shot from off the fifth green and, of course, try the same two putts at the 18th green. The club has all sorts of tracking technology that easily could document the competition on a Monday or Tuesday practice round. Entry would be totally optional. But with some Masters crystal in play, here’s guessing the players would all take their free drives, chips and putts.

Vanessa Borovilos of Toronto, a four-time national finalist who won the putting portion of this year’s girls 12-13 division, plans to watch Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson with her Monday practice-round pass. Asked if she’d like to see them take part in a drive, chip and putt, Vanessa echoed what most patrons would think.

“I definitely want to see what would happen!” she said.

The thousands of practice-round patrons might benefit from a little competition Monday or Tuesday. So would the Drive, Chip and Putt, which would be validated even further by inclusion in Masters festivities, just the way the Par 3 Contest getting aired nationally has made pitch-and-putt golf cool again. And golf could use a little more in the way of fun, quick and skill-focused challenges on the grandest stage of all.


 
 

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