by Gary Baines
Fourteen Coloradans advanced to the third of four stages of the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship on Saturday at Thorncreek Golf Course in Thornton. And they'll be joined by others next weekend.
Thorncreek hosted the first of two Colorado-based Sub-Regional DCP competitions on Saturday, with Murphy Creek Golf Course in Aurora doing the second on Aug. 25.
The competitors have already advanced from Local Qualifying as eight such events were held in Colorado this year, including one during U.S. Senior Open week at The Broadmoor Golf Club earlier this summer. And at Thorncreek and Murphy Creek, the top two finishers in each of eight age/gender divisions are punching their tickets to the Regional Qualifying, which will be conducted on Sept. 29 at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, site of the recent PGA Championship. There, just the winner in each age/gender division will earn a spot in the DCP National Championship, set for April 7 at Augusta National on the Sunday preceding the 2019 Masters.
Last year, Kaden Ford of Colorado Springs became the fourth Coloradan ever to compete in the nationally-televised DCP National Championship. He finished sixth in the boys 14-15 division.
In DCP competitions, contestants score points in each discipline -- driving, chipping and putting -- which are added together for a cumulative total.
In all, 40 boys and 40 girls will compete in the Nationals of the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship, which is sponsored by the Masters, the USGA and the PGA of America. The competition is limited to players 7-15.
Among the 14 Coloradans who advanced to Regional Qualifying on Saturday (in addition to two out-of-state golfers) was Sofia Choi of Littleton (the girls 14-15 champion), who also made it to Regionals last year. Choi won Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado Junior Series Championships in both 2016 and '17.
Here are the Drive Chip & Putt Regional Qualifiers from the Thorncreek GC Sub-Regional on Saturday:
Benjamin Pederson, Arvada 20-35-55--110
Grady Ortiz, Colorado Springs 20-31-45--96
Gregory White, Centennial 31-40-50--121
Jake Dost, Parker 39-35-47--121
Reese Knox, Peyton 45-45-42--132
Carter Surofchek, Colorado Springs 32-40-45--117
Jackson Rottschafer, Centennial 47-45-60--152
Matthew Wilkinson, Centennial 47-37-60--144
Jadie Wilson, Denver 17-3-60--80
Amalei Lagrimas, Castle Rock 18-26-36--80
Emmalee Johnson, Denver 18-18-60--96
Addison Hines, Arvada 21-11-60--92
Ali Mulhall, Mesquite Nevada 44-23-55--122
Rylee Salome, Los Lunas, N.M. 36-30-45--111
Sofia Choi, Littleton 52-45-60--157
Grace Ha, Greenwood Village 40-31-60--131