Emory Munoz Returns To Augusta National

An event that has become a tradition at Augusta National Golf Club is the annual hosting of the national finals of the Drive, Chip, and Putt competition. Each year on the Sunday before the start of Masters week, the members of the Augusta National Golf Club welcome eighty finalists of this nationwide golf skills competition. The eighty finalists are boys and girls ages 7 through 15, from ten regional competition sites.

A joint initiative founded in 2013 by the Masters Tournament, the United States Golf Association and The PGA of America, Drive, Chip and Putt is a free nationwide junior golf development competition aimed at growing the game by focusing on the three fundamental skills employed in golf.

By tapping the creative and competitive spirit of girls and boys ages 7-15, Drive, Chip and Putt provides aspiring junior golfers an opportunity to play with their peers in qualifiers around the country. Participants who advance through local, sub-regional and regional qualifying in each age/gender category earn a place in the National Finals, which is conducted at Augusta National Golf Club the Sunday before the Masters Tournament and is broadcast live by Golf Channel (8am, EDT, Sunday April 7, 2024).

Last year, in 2023, the Chicago area proudly had four junior golfers competing in the national finals at ANGC. Representing the Upper Midwest region in April, 2023 were: Emory Munoz (Boys Age 7-9 Group), William Comiskey (Boys Age 10-11 Group), Ben Patel (Boys Age 12-13 Group), and Martha Kuwahara (Girls Age 14-15). All four were regional winners at Medinah CC.

Emory Munoz

Emory Munoz

The Upper Midwest regional competition for the 2024 DC&P finals was held at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, IL, on October 1, 2023. With stiff competition from junior golfers from Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and other Midwestern states Emory was the only Chicago area golfer to advance to the national finals.

Of the eighty national finalists from the previous year (April 2, 2023), only seven will be competing as national finalists again this year (April 7, 2024); Emory Munoz being one of the seven.

This will be Emory’s third attempt to capture a national championship in his age group. He has improved each year starting with a sub-regional appearance at age 7, then a DC&P national finals appearance at age 8, and now a return appearance to the DC&P national finals at Augusta National GC at age 9.

Born in Arlington Heights, IL, Emory Munoz now lists Lockport, IL as his home town. Emory’s favorite course is Cog Hill and credits his dad as being his golf instructor. The young Munoz stated that he started playing golf at age 2 when his dad bought him his first set of plastic clubs.

Drive, Chip, and Putt competition

Drive, Chip, and Putt competition

When it comes time for practice, he mentioned “I love practicing driving the most.” And his favorite club is his driver “because I like to hit the ball far.” 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, and more recently scored an albatross in October 2023.

From strongest to weakest, Emory’s golf skills are: driving, putting, then chipping. His most difficult and challenging shot is “Hitting a shot out of a bunker.” Emory’s favorite male and female golfers are Jordan Spieth and Lexi Thompson.

Best of luck in the DC&P Finals to our young talented golfer from Lockport!
(Photos courtesy / credit: DCP Championship, LLC).


Greg Miles

Greg Miles has been a writer following golf in Chicago since 1990. For the past 30 years he has been a member of the Golf Writers Association of America and currently is classified as a GWAA "Life Member". He played his first round of golf on his 11th birthday, and since then has played more than 7,300 rounds of golf in his lifetime at 517 different courses. He has interviewed more than 280 golfers across all the professional tours along with famous celebrity golfers. Additionally, he is a member of several other competitive and honorary golf associations, as well as the Golf Nut Society.

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