Eight-year-old golfer heading to Drive, Chip & Putt finals at Augusta National
● By Steven Hoffman
Trevor Sikorski, a third-grader at the Avon Grove Intermediate School, will be one of 80 golfers from all across the country who will be competing in the finals of the Drive, Chip & Putt Tournament in April. The national finals take place at the prestigious Augusta National Golf Club, the home of the Masters Golf Tournament, just a few days before Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth and other top golfers in the world will be competing for the cherished green jacket.
Trevor is understandably excited about the opportunity to play on one of the most prestigious golf courses in the world.
“I can't wait. It's going to be a lot of fun,” he said.
Trevor qualified for a spot in the national finals with a second place finish in the local qualifier tournament at the White Clay Creek Country Club in Delaware, and a first place finish in sub-regionals at the ACE Club near Philadelphia and another first place performance in the regionals at Baltusrol Golf Club in New Jersey. Those qualifiers took place throughout the summer and fall of 2016.
Trevor was encouraged to enter the Drive, Chip & Putt competition by his father, Paul, who introduced Trevor and his older brother, Tyler, to the sport.
Paul said that Trevor is always looking for an opportunity to play nine or, better yet, eighteen holes of his favorite sport.
“His famous line is, 'Can we sneak in a quick nine?'” Paul explained with a chuckle.
“Trevor is very devoted to the sport,” his mother, Jodie, added. “He loves golf and he works hard at it.”
The Drive, Chip & Putt Tournament is a free junior golf development competition that focuses on the three fundamental skills of golf. The competition was started three years ago as a way to inspire the next generation of golfers to take up the sport. At the national finals, Trevor will be competing against other players ages seven through nine. There are 80 golfers from across the U.S. who qualified for the finals in all the various age groups. Trevor is the only golfer from Pennsylvania or Maryland to earn a spot in this year's finals. The youngsters competing in the finals will arrive early before the event. They get to stay in the hotel where some of the golfers stay, and they will also get to watch the professionals take a practice round before they leave. They will also get to putt on the 18th green just days before the Masters. It's a dream opportunity for anyone who likes golf.
Trevor credits his success in the Drive, Chip & Putt competition to lots and lots of practice—but practice on a golf course is something that he enjoys. He competes in U.S. Kids Golf events as well as Junior PGA League events, and he travels around the area with his family to play golf. Paul said that the Junior PGA League and U.S. Kids Golf do an excellent job of helping the young golfers develop their skills.
Trevor has a well-rounded game, which helped him succeed in the Drive, Chip & Putt competition. He said that he thinks his biggest strength might be hitting with irons. He regularly drives the ball 175 yards .
But his mother, Jodie, pointed out that he is also very skilled at chipping. She explained that during the Drive, Chip & Putt competition, players must hit three chip shots, and they earn points based on how close they are to the pin. For the driving component, they must hit for distance while staying within a certain width. For the putting, the players putted the ball from three different distances and earned points for getting the ball closest to the hole.
Jodie said that Trevor and Tyler are competitive with each other when they are playing sports—as brothers tend to be—but other parents have also commented on how well Tyler and Trevor work with one another, and help each other. She is very proud of that.
Trevor enjoys watching professionals play golf, especially Dustin Johnson. One of his favorite golf memories is attending two days of the U.S. Open at Oakmont and Johnson won the tournament.
Trevor's favorite course locally is the Moccasin Run Golf Course in Atglen, where he receives golf instruction from Rodney King. Paul said that Moccasin Run Golf Course does an excellent job of providing a safe environment for the youngsters to learn golf. They make it affordable, too. He has also worked with, and has been helped by, Tim Brown, a coach at the Wyncote Golf Club.
When Trevor's not playing golf, he likes to play ice hockey and football, and he enjoys mountain biking.
The 2017 Drive, Chip & Putt finals will be broadcast on the Golf Channel on April 2, the Sunday before the Masters Golf Tournament begins.
For more information about the Drive, Chip and Putt competition or to register for the 2018 competition, visit www.drivechipandputt.com.