The first place Walker Leibach visited Sunday during the second annual Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals was Augusta National’s Tournament Practice Range.
The 11-year-old Augusta golfer wanted to see the chipping skills of the 10 boys who qualified for the competition’s 10-11 division and, if possible, pick up some pointers for next year.
Leibach played in the tournament’s regional qualifier in Savannah last June. He came in first in putting and performed well in driving, but said his chipping kept him from advancing past the first round.
“You have to keep your stance low and not worry about the pressure,” he said of some areas he found he could improve.
Leibach got his first 7-iron at age 2 and started playing three years later.
He said he was inspired by his grandfather, who at age 87 still golfs three times a week, and his cousin, a University of Georgia sophomore who competed this weekend in the 3M Augusta Invitational at Forest Hills Golf Club.
Leibach said he hopes to pay at UGA and then “come play here” at the Masters.
“I just need to play my best,” he said.
“And practice a lot,” said his mother, Diane Leibach.