Appleton’s AJ Powell gets Masters experience at Drive, Chip, & Putt

Sports

APPLETON (WFRV) – Amen’s Corner. The azaleas. Magnolia Lane.

A weekend at Augusta National is something many golf fans wait their whole lives for, with the infamous waiting list turning eager spectators away year after year.

One Appleton high schooler, however, got to skip the line.

Appleton North golfer AJ Powell had a chance to not only step foot on the grounds at Augusta National, but compete on the very same grass as so many of the game’s legends.

The national Drive, Chip, & Putt challenge features youth golfers from across the country, showcasing the specialty skills to promote the fundamentals of golf and grow the game.

Powell has been competing in Drive, Chip, & Putt for nearly a decade – and this year, after qualifying for nationals, she earned a chance to compete at a place where spectators hadn’t set foot for two years.

“Oh, it was extremely exciting,” Powell said. “We were the first group Sunday and so we were the first ones on the ground.”

Powell, along with her competitors, participated in the putting portion of the challenge on the 18th green, the site of so many iconic moments in Masters history – most recently, Tiger Woods’ emotional comeback victory in 2019.

Perhaps the most famous golf course in the world, Augusta National gave young golfers something to aspire to by hosting the Drive, Chip, & Putt challenge.

Powell’s lofty golf goals tee off closer to home in Appleton, but she says the experience was unlike any other.

“Just driving up Magnolia Lane was so amazing because of how historic the place is and how historic just that road is,” Powell said. “I just thought it was so cool that my club was touching that grass and I had the opportunity to do that.

“It was really cool.”

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