Valatie, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Capital Region has seen it’s fair share of kids head to the Drive, Chip, and Putt finals at Augusta National. But never has the area had two brothers competing together, until now.
60,000 kids, ages seven to fifteen, entered the Drive, Chip, and Putt competition. Only 80 advance to the national finals at Augusta National, home of the Masters. Two of them are brothers from Valatie: 12 year old Tanner LaTorre and his 9-year old brother Mason. “I put in a lot of hard work into Drive, Chip, and Putt,” said Tanner. “I’ve been doing it for six years so it’s a relief to make it to Augusta.”
“I was going back to the leaderboard to see who won and kids were just shaking my hand,” said Mason. “I did not know what was happening. They were saying congratulations and I saw the board that I had the highest points so I was going to Augusta and I was really happy.”
Tanner started competitive golf at age five, with his brother following in his footsteps. Together, they’re blazing their own path. “I think it’s pretty great because we’re the first brothers to make it,” said Tanner. “So we’re making history at Drive, Chip, and Putt.”
Any golf fan would jump at the chance to play Augusta National, but for this family, the Masters traditions run especially deep. “Every time we see what the Masters dinner is and we eat that dinner,” said Mason. “We try and bet who the player is and whoever wins gets to pick their own dinner.”
Not only will this be a special moment for the boys, it will be a prideful one for the man who introduced them to the game: their father Shawn. “Speechless really, I don’t know what to say,” said Shawn. “Tough to believe that we’re doing it and to go down there, and be behind the ropes with them, to be able to putt on the 18th green is pretty remarkable.”
The Drive, Chip, and Putt competition takes place on Sunday, April 3rd.