Udovich Wins National 12-13 Drive, Chip and Putt Title
April 5, 2021
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Sam Udovich won two of the three categories and the overall title in the Boys 12-13 division on Sunday in the 2021 Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals at Augusta National.
Udovich, who finished second in the Boys 10-11 division in 2018, isn't really 12 or 13 any more. He's actually 14. But he was 13 when he qualified for the 2020 National Finals by winning the Midwest Regional championship at Interlachen Country Club in September of 2019. All of the qualifiers from regional finals that fall were supposed to compete in National Finals in April of 2020. But those Finals were not held a year ago, a result of the Covid 19 pandemic.
Instead, the 2020 National Finals were pushed back a year, and all of the regional qualifiers from the fall of 2019 got their chance to compete at Augusta National on Sunday.
In that long-ago 2019 Midwest Regional, Udovich won the driving competition. Afterward, he said he couldn't remember ever missing the 40-yard DC&P grid in any of the local, sub-regional, regional or national events he had participated in during the six years he's been doing Drive, Chip and Putt. On Sunday, he missed the grid with his first drive, but his second was in the grid -- and measured 270 yards, which was good for first place.
There are 10 regional champions in each age group, and competitors get 10 points for first in each category, 9 for second and so on, down to 1 point for 10th.
Udovich, who lives in Inver Grove Heights and whose family has a membership at Southview Country Club, also won the chipping competition with a first attempt that finished 8 inches from the cup, and a second 19 inches, for a total of 2 feet, 3 inches -- and another 10 points.
Those two firsts -- and the resulting 20 points -- enabled him to win the overall Boys 12-13 crown despite a less-than-stellar effort in putting. His first putt ended up 5 feet, 3 inches from the cup, the second 2 feet, 1 inch. The combined distance of 7 feet, 4 inches put him in ninth place and was worth only 2 points.
His overall total of 22 points gave him a 2-point margin of victory over Northeast Region champ Brayden Dock (4-6-10--20) and Southeast Region winner Gavin Hutchinson (3-8-9--20).