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Salley boy takes third place in Drive, Chip and Putt

Posted April 01, 2018 06:04 pm
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Salley boy takes third place in Drive, Chip and Putt

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     Salley boy takes third place in Drive, Chip and Putt
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    Thaxton Cheyne (from left), Luke Parsons and Landon Kelly wait for the closing ceremony of the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals at Augusta National Golf Club. [TODD BENNETT/THE AUGUSTA CHRONICLE]

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     Salley boy takes third place in Drive, Chip and Putt
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    Luke Parsons, 7-9 boys division, takes a practice swing during the Drive, Chip and Putt Finals at Augusta National Golf Club, Sunday, April 1, 2018, in Augusta, Georgia. [TODD BENNETT/THE AUGUSTA CHRONICLE]

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     Salley boy takes third place in Drive, Chip and Putt
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    Masters Champion Nick Faldo poses for a photo with third place overall winner in the 7-9 Boys Luke Parson during the Drive, Chip and Putt Championships at Augusta National Golf Club, Sunday, April 1, 2018, in Augusta, Georgia. [TODD BENNETT/THE AUGUSTA CHRONICLE]

Luke Parsons began playing golf at 4 and has competed in tournaments from South Carolina to California.

After Sunday’s Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals at Augusta National Golf Club, the third-grader from Salley, S.C., said, “This was my favorite experience ever.”

"There are a lot of pros who never get to play here," Luke said. "And I just did. That’s pretty amazing."

Luke placed third overall out of 10 competitors in his age group. He finished fourth in driving (171.7 yards), fifth in chipping (15.7 feet total from the cup in two attempts) and third in putting (3.10 total feet from the cup in two attempts).

“Of course you want to win every event, but we teach Luke that you’ll win some and lose some,” said Timothy Parsons, Luke’s father. “It’s just an honor to be here. We’re so grateful for this opportunity.”

Sunday marked Luke’s first trip to the Masters and Augusta National, and the 9-year-old dreams of returning to golf’s biggest stage. If Luke were to win the Masters, he would serve noodles, lima beans, medium-rare filet mignon, chocolate ice cream and Diet Coke as his meal for the Champions Dinner.

“I always have a sip of Diet Coke before I get to the first tee,” he said. “No matter what my tee time is.”

Luke hopes to be a professional golfer or a heart surgeon when he grows up.