Miles Cooper almost qualified for Augusta recently – and he’s 9 years old.
The Miller Elementary School student came within a point of going to the Drive, Chip and Putt finals in Augusta, Georgia, held during Masters Week.
He’ll be an alternate.
(Photo at left: Miles with his medals from third round of Drive, Chip and Putt held in Houston.)
It was the third year Miles – son of Club members Joey and Lindsay Cooper – has participated in the competition, conducted in partnership between the Masters Tournament, the PGA of America and the USGA.
Drive, Chip and Putt is a free, nationwide youth golf development program open to boys and girls from ages 7 to 15 in four age categories.
Miles finished first in Amarillo and Dallas before going to the third round at The Club at Carlton Woods at the Woodlands, near Houston. The winner there would advance to Augusta where the finals will be played Sunday, April 7, before the start of the Masters Tournament and broadcast on Golf Channel.
Besides Houston, other third-round events were held at such famous courses as TPC Sawgrass in Florida, Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, Winged Foot Golf Club in New York, Torrey Pines in California, Chambers Bay in Washington, Muirfield Village in Ohio, Whistling Straits in Wisconsin and many others.
The young golfers get nine shots – three drives, three chips and three putts. They earn points for how far and straight their drives go and how close chips and putts are to a hole from different distances.
(Photo at left: Miles practices at The Club.)
Miles finished ahead of the winner from Oklahoma City by two points each in the chipping and putting competition, but finished five points behind him in driving to finish in second place.
The first time Miles competed he was only six years old and got past the first round. The second time he competed he also got to the second round.
Miles started playing golf when he was two years old.
“I like being outside – seeing squirrels and stuff and being around people,” said Miles.
He’s also won numerous North Texas Junior PGA tournaments.
This summer, while he was 8, he won the North Texas PGA West Area Championship advancing to the Northern Texas PGA Junior Tour Championship in Dallas.
(Photo at left: Some of his awards on his golf bag.)
Miles likes to get in nine holes after school when he can at The Club. His favorite hole in No. 2 because “it’s the best chance for a hole in one,” he said.
He hopes to earn a scholarship to play golf at Oklahoma State University – the defending national champions.