Richland 9-year-old 2nd in Drive, Chip and Putt finals

AUGUSTA, GA. - Max Vandermolen, a 9-year-old from Richland, finished tied for second place in the Drive, Chip and Putt national finals Sunday morning at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, in the Boys 7-to-9-year-old division.

Vandermolen won the putting category over his nine other competitors. He missed the first putt by two or three inches, then drained his second attempt on the 18th green at Augusta National. He was third overall in driving with a distance of 188.9 yards, but he struggled in the chipping section by finishing a total of 21 feet, 8 inches away from the hole on two chips. The putting and chipping categories were based on aggregate distances.

Carter Gaede of Manhatten Beach, Calif. won the longest drive (211.5 yards) and the overall division ahead of Vandermolen and the other runner up, Tyler Mawhinney of Fleming Island, Fla.

Vandermolen was Michigan’s lone representative in the growing competition. He advanced to Augusta by scoring the highest point total of all 10 regional qualifying sites en route to winning at Medinah Country Club last September, and became one of 80 total finalists divided into four age groups from each gender..

The Masters

When: Thursday-April 9.

Where: Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Ga.

TV: Thursday-Friday — 3 p.m.-7:30 p.m., ESPN; Saturday — 3-7, CBS (Channel 62 in Detroit); April 9 — 2-7, CBS.

Tee times: Announced Tuesday.

Michigan connection: Brian Stuard, Jackson, Oakland University.

Last year’s winner: Danny Willett.

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