CARROLLWOOD, Fla. — Elyse Meerdink, 12, finds herself on the golf course a lot.
This year, she was able to compete at the August Nationals Drive, Chip, Putt tournament.
"It's only 10 girls in my age group that make it and the only 80 participants in total," explains Elyse.
Elyse got to experience all the bells and whistles of going to Augusta, too.
"The start of the whole thing was we got to drive down Magnolia Lane, in the buses, which was really, really awesome, because not many people get to do that. And so I just kind of took that all in. And that was really, really special," says Elyse.
Elyse came in third in the drive competition, first in the chip and then came the putt. She had to be within 11 feet or so to win the whole thing.
"Definitely a little more dramatic than I wanted running the first one eight feet by and then making the second one to win. I would have probably just like to cozy those two up and then, but you know, that was definitely a little scary thereafter the first putt. But it was really cool. Just to say that you know, I made a putt on the 18th green at Augusta National," says Elyse.
Elyse's dad took her out golfing for the first time when she was about 3 years old. His dad was on the PGA tour and her dad golfs as a hobby. But, for Elyse, she just fell in love with it.
Elyse says, "I definitely like playing in tournaments and competing because I find that very enjoyable to do. And also, because I get to meet a lot of girls from, you know, all over the country, like I have some friends that are in Illinois, and Michigan and Texas. And so I definitely get to know a lot of girls."
Her favorite golfers are Tiger Woods, Lexi Thompson and Brittany Altomare.
She played her 6th-grade year on the Carrollwood Day School female golf team and will continue that in her 7th-grade year.