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Minnesotans McCauley and Johnson, St. Aubin from North Dakota Qualify for Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals at Augusta National

September 12, 2016

Isabella McCauley of Inver Grove Heights, Jack Johnson of Chaska and Emily St. Aubin of Ashley, ND from the Minnesota Section have advanced to the Drive, Chip and Putt national finals at Augusta National Golf Club on Sunday, April 2, 2017, the week before the historic Masters Tournament. All three qualified over the weekend at the Drive, Chip and Putt Regional at Hazeltine National Golf Club on Saturday, September 10th, 2016.

Hazeltine hosted a total of 80 participants from the Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Iowa Sections for the Drive, Chip and Putt Regional. McCauley, Johnson and St. Aubin were among the eight qualifiers advancing to Augusta for the finals. There were qualifiers for each gender and age division; 7-9, 10-11, 12-13, 14-15.

McCauley will be representing the Minnesota Section on the national stage in the Girls’ 12-13 age division while Johnson and St. Aubin will compete in the Boys’ and Girls’ 14-15 age divisions, respectively.

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Isabella McCauley of Inver Grove Heights, Minn.

This is extra special for McCauley who finished in a tie for first last year, but missed out on Augusta by losing in a tiebreaker in heartbreaking fashion.

“Last year it was hard because I thought I won, but it made me want to practice harder,” McCauley said. “I practiced so much coming in to this event and it paid off. That little bit of practice can make all the difference in the world.”

St. Aubin won her division by an astounding 13 points, winning the drive and chip portions of the competition.

Her story is much different than most kids. In a town of just over 700 people, she spends countless hours on the golf course with family and whoever is available to play with.

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Emily St. Aubin of Ashley, North Dakota

“There aren’t many people in our town, so at 1 o’clock I go play with the 60 and 70-year-olds and they teach me a lot about life and golf—it’s just a fun time. I bring them cookies sometimes—they love them.”

No story is more heartening than Johnson punching his ticket to Augusta. Johnson, a caddie at Hazeltine National and Chaska native, was able to win his division in front of a flurry of family members and supporters.

“I get to caddie for some great members here who are great guys and they really help you a lot and tell you things that will help you not just on the course, but lessons that will help you for the rest of your life.”

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Jack Johnson of Chaska, Minn.

“This is so cool—there’s not a better place to live,” he added.

Through the chaos and outpour of support from family and friends, he received a special congratulations text message from Alexandria native and Ryder Cup Assistant Captain Tom Lehman.

“Yeah Tom sent me a really nice message after the competition congratulating me,” said Johnson.

The text message from Lehman read, “What a dream come true this must be for you! Congratulations. Hopefully this will be the first of many trips [to Augusta] over the years. Wouldn’t it be something if someday you put on the green jacket and told everyone it all started with the Drive, Chip and Putt back in 2017!! Keep up the hard work and good work. It all pays off. Blessing always, Tom Lehman.”

“I couldn’t focus at class today because I am still so excited about Saturday, it’s been awesome,” he said.

To view Golf Channel’s feature on the Hazeltine National Qualifiers advancing to the national finals, click here.

The Minnesota Section PGA consists of PGA Professionals who are experts in the game and business of golf. Our mission is to promote the enjoyment and involvement of the game of golf and to contribute to its growth by providing services to golf professionals, the golf industry, people who play golf or would like to start playing golf. PGA Section Offices oversee the 41 geographic regions throughout the United States and provide the grass-roots network for the nation’s 25 million amateur golfers and with the PGA’s 27,000 members.

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