‘A great opportunity:’ Brookfield Central teen to compete in national Drive, Chip & Putt Championship

Sarah Balding

BROOKFIELD -- One Brookfield Central High School teen has played many rounds of golf in her life, but her latest competition changes the course.

"It's a competition about golf, but it's not actually playing a golf round," said Sarah Balding. "You hit three drives, three chips, and three putts, and depending on how well you do, you get more points, and whoever gets the most points, wins."

Fifteen-year-old Sarah Balding started golfing at age 9.

"It's really calming and peaceful to just be out on the golf course, even with other people, or by yourself, to see the nature and to see the holes, which are always so beautiful," Balding said.

Her latest challenge is taking her to a national competition at the Drive, Chip & Putt Championship.

Sarah Balding

"I'm looking forward to meeting all the different people and seeing how they approach the same shots in a different way. Also seeing the pros is a great opportunity and seeing their practice rounds is going to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience," Balding said.

The top 80 finalists, including Balding, will compete at Augusta National on the eve of the Masters Tournament. And in her third year competing, Balding isn't letting Mother Nature get in the way of her preparation.

Sarah Balding

Sarah Balding

"I'm at a little bit of a disadvantage up here in Wisconsin, but I love it and I'm doing my best," Balding said. "I've been practicing indoor, like here at Golf Galaxy, Moorland, and other places that offer me to hit on the range."

Disadvantage or not, Balding said she's ready to compete -- with the finals giving golfers one less drive, chip and putt.

"There's always kind of those nerves, sitting and waiting and wondering if it was good enough or not," Balding said.

Being in the oldest age group allowed, this is Balding's final shot to compete.

"I mean, I'm always going down to win, meet other people and enjoy the experience," said Balding.

The 2019 Drive, Chip & Putt Championship will air on the Golf Channel on April 7.

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