Ty Griggs is looking forward to an experience of a lifetime.
The 13-year-old Manteca youth is among 80 junior golfers to have recently earned an all-expense-paid invitation to Augusta National Golf Club for the third annual Drive, Chip and Putt Championships.
The National Finals is scheduled for Sunday, April 3, about a week prior to the Masters Tournament.
“I told him to take it all in,” said his father John Griggs to his son.
Ty Griggs, who is an eighth-grade student at Neil Hafley Elementary School – after that, he’ll be attending East Union High, where he’s looking forward to working with his current golf coach Dennis Wells – qualified for this once-in-a-lifetime experience by taking first place in the regional event held last September at Chambers Bay in University Place, WA.
According to the youngster, he had to overcome modest performances in chipping – Griggs scored 31 points out of 75 – and putting (42 points) before delivering on long drives of 278, 286 and 273 yards, compiling 140 points to win the Boys’ 12-13 Division.
For Griggs and his family – included are his parents John and Kerry along with sister Madelyn and the grand parents – getting there has been a thrill ride of sort.
He didn’t have his best effort in local event held at Spring Creek Golf and Country Club in Ripon, finishing in third place.
But that was enough for him to qualify in the sectional event held at Haggin Oaks Golf Course in Sacramento.
He took first place, winning with an eight-point cushion.
“Driving (the golf ball) has been my strength,” said Griggs, who also plays in various junior golf events throughout the area.
He started playing at age 8, taking up the game while playing against his father John, Uncle Jeremy and Grandpa Tom.
Ty Griggs grew from there, progressing to stronger competition.
He enjoys playing at Manteca Park Golf Course, carding a best score of 70 (18 holes) from the blue markers.
His favorite player on the PGA Tour is Bubba Watson.
“Yes, I’m hoping to see him play (while at Augusta) – I know seeing the Masters will be fun,” said Ty Griggs, who, along with his family, will be staying in the same hotel as that of the PGA Tour.
The Drive, Chip, and Putt Championship National Finals are a joint initiative by the United States Golf Association, the Masters, and PGA of America, focusing on the three fundamental skills in golf while tapping into the creativity and enthusiasm of young golfers.