by Gary Baines
Caitlyn Chin of Greenwood Village, one of just four Coloradans ever to compete in the Drive, Chip & Putt National Championship at Augusta National on the Sunday prior to the Masters, has given herself a chance to earn a second trip to the finals of the event.
Chin was one of 16 junior golfers who qualified on Saturday at Murphy Creek Golf Course in Aurora for DCP Regionals. Regionals mark the third of four qualifying stages for DCP, and it's where the winners of each age/gender division earn spots in the Nationals in Augusta, Ga.
Chin competed in the girls 7-9 division at Augusta National in 2016, and now she's in the 10-11 group. She won that division in Saturday's Sub-Regional at Murphy Creek and will book a trip to Regionals, which are set for Sept. 29 at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, site of this month's PGA Championship. The winners of each age/gender division there will land a spot in the DCP National Championship, scheduled for April 7 at Augusta National.
Also among those advancing to Regionals on Saturday at Murphy Creek was Matai Naqica of Centennial, who recently won the boys 11-13 Junior Series Championship conducted by the Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado. Naqica prevailed for the boys 12-13 Sub-Regional title on Saturday with an impressive point total of 177 -- the best of the day in any division.
The qualfiers from Murphy Creek join those from Thorncreek Golf Course in Thornton, who punched their Regional tickets on Aug. 18.
Twelve of those who advanced on Saturday are from Colorado, while 14 from the Thorncreek competition are.
Those who have competed the last two weekends had 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.
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 DCP, which is sponsored by the Masters, the USGA and the PGA of America. The competition is limited to players 7-15.
Here are the Drive Chip & Putt Regional Qualifiers from the Murphy Creek GC Sub-Regional on Saturday:
Shea Clanton, Lincoln, Neb. 18-41-50--109
Ryan Fenton, Colorado Springs 17-35-55--107
Steven Suges, Grapevine, Texas 37-45-46--128
Miles Kuhl, Boulder 22-45-40--107
Matai Naqica, Centennial 52-55-70--177
Trevor Gutschewski, Elkhorn, Neb. 44-50-46--140
Maxwell Lange, Golden 61-50-50--161
Ben Harding, Longmont 38-45-65--148
Annabel Roy, Denver 8-22-55--85
Adrielle Miller, Highlands Ranch 11-19-41--71
Caitlyn Chin, Greenwood Village 34-40-52--126
Taylor Hale, Eagle 36-40-42--118
Chunya Boonta, Centennial 33-50-22--105
Madeline Bante, Denver 32-21-41--94
Lauren Thiele, Wahoo, Neb. 20-55-60--135
Elle Higgins, Centennial 39-40-36--115
For all the results from Murphy Creek, CLICK HERE.