Having hosted events such as the Augusta National Invitational, The Masters, Masters Par-3 tournament, and the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, the famous course on Washington Road in Augusta, Georgia also hosts the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship Finals.
The Drive, Chip & Putt Championship is a nationwide competition for boys and girls age 8-15 years old which is made available by DCP Championship, LLC, together with its founders and owners, the Masters Tournament Foundation, the PGA of America, and the United States Golf Association. The 2023 event will mark the ninth anniversary of this competition.
The 2023 DCP Championship finals will be held on Sunday, April 2, prior to the start of the Masters Tournament. Eighty junior golfers representing 29 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces have earned an invitation to Augusta National Golf Club including four participants from the Chicago area.
William Comiskey will represent the Upper Midwest Region in the Boys age 10-11 group. William started his path to the DCP Finals competing in the local qualifying at Aldeen Golf Club in Rockford on July 14, 2022; then made it through the Sub-Regional Qualifier Event at Cantigny Golf in Wheaton on August 9, 2022; lastly, his fine efforts at the Regional Qualifier Event held at Medinah Country Club on Oct 1, 2022 earned him the trip to Augusta National GC for the finals.
Comiskey is a 5th grader at St. Isaac Jogues School in Hinsdale, and calls Cog Hill in Lemont his ‘home course’, where he gets instruction from Kevin Weeks. His favorite club is the 60-degree wedge. During summers, away from school, William plays in IJGA events; he participated in 9 of those during the 2022 season and placed 1st in five of them and top five in the others.
Martha Kuwahara, a freshman at Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook (also Nick Hardy’s alma mater), worked her way through the following qualifiers to get to the DCP Finals in Augusta: Local Qualifying at Pine Meadow Golf Club in Mundelein on June 29, 2022; Sub-Regional Qualifying at Cantigny Golf in Wheaton on August 9, 2022; lastly, the Regional Qualifier Event held at Medinah Country Club on Oct 1, 2022.
Martha will represent the Upper Midwest Region and compete in the Girls Age 14-15 Group. Martha’s home course is The Glen Club in Glenview and carries a -2.5 handicap. She gets golf instruction from Chris Oehlerking, owner and director of instruction at The Golf Practice in Highland Park. Martha’s favorite club is the 58-degree wedge, and once recorded a chipping score of 60 (perfect score) in all qualifiers en route to the DCP Finals.
Kuwahara describes herself as ‘cheerful, energetic, and hardworking’ and names Hideki Matsuyama and Shibuno Hinako as her favorite male and female golfers. Her advice to other golfers is “Don’t be nervous and hit like you always do when no one is watching you.”
Born in Arlington Heights, IL, and presently a second-grader at Reed Elementary School in Homer Glen, Emory Munoz is the youngest of the Chicago area Upper Midwest representatives headed to Augusta National GC for the DCP Championship.
He will be competing in the Boys Age 7-9 Group. Emory’s challenging quest to reach the DCP Finals had him competing at Aldeen GC in Rockford on July 14, 2022; then the Sub-Regional Qualifier Event at Cantigny Golf in Wheaton on August 9, 2022; lastly, performing well at the Regional Qualifier Event held at Medinah CC on Oct 1, 2022.
Emory’s home course is Cog Hill and credits his Dad as being his golf instructor. The young Munoz states that putting is the most difficult part of golf; when it comes time for practice, he mentioned “I love practicing chipping the most.” But his favorite club is his driver (TaylorMade Stealth). Despite his very young age Emory has already achieved what many of us haven’t even done in a lifetime of golf — he scored two holes-in-one within a three months’ span. His favorite male and female golfers are Jordan Spieth and Lexi Thompson.
Ben Patel resides in North Aurora and will be the Upper Midwest contestant in the Boys Age 12-13 group in the 2023 DCP Finals. To get there Ben competed through Local Qualifying at Pine Meadow in Mundelein on June 29, 2022; Sub-Regional Qualifying at Cantigny Golf in Wheaton on August 9, 2022; and, thirdly, the Regional Qualifier Event held at Medinah CC on Oct 1, 2022.
His home course is Black Sheep Golf Club in Sugar Grove; his golf instructor is Kevin Weeks at Cog Hill. Playing to a handicap of +0.6, Ben helped his fellow Team Illinois mates win the stroke-play portion of the 2022 National Car Rental PGA Jr. League Championship last October.
During that event Ben played alongside Tony Finau’s son, while Tony followed and cheered for both. Ben’s favorite club is the putter, and his favorite male and female golfers are Justin Thomas and Michelle Wie. Ben describes himself as a ‘hard worker’ at both academics and golf.
Best of luck in the DCP Finals to our talented Chicago golfers! (Contestant photos courtesy / credit: DCP Championship, LLC).