ASHLEY, N.D. - Being on the grounds of Augusta National with a golf club in your hands is a bucket-list item that most people know they will never achieve in their lifetime. An eighth-grader from Ashley is less than two weeks away from making that a reality.
Emily St. Aubin will compete in the National Drive, Chip and Putt Competition that takes place prior to the Masters. St. Aubin and her South Border High School teammates stopped in Bismarck on Sunday on their way back from Minot for the Parade of Champions at the “B”.
For Emily, she has spent her whole life playing golf, to get to where she is now.
"My dad, who is our coach, he kind of loves golf and has all of this life. He started when he was a seventh-grader, so he got me hooked on it when I was a little bit younger. And, by the time I was 1, I had gone on a hundred rounds of golf with him just riding in the car seat or whatever and I just started swinging the club, and I thought it looked fun and it was a fun way to spend time with my dad and my younger brother Zach," said St. Aubin.
She explains that the path she took to qualify for this event, wasn’t an easy one.
"First we were in Bismarck at the local qualifier, which was at Pebble Creek, and then if you were in the top three you got to go to Fargo. And then, the top two advance and I was in the top two, so I got to go to Hazeltine for a chance to go to Augusta. So, if you won there you got to go to Augusta. I was fortunate to have an awesome day that day," said St. Aubin.
St. Aubin says during the competition they hit three drives. Chip to a target from 15 years off the green and then hit a putt from 6-feet, 15-feet and one from 30-feet. "Sometimes my driving is my best if it's going straight, so else my chipping, but usually those are the two battling it out. My putting I can improve on," she added.
Being from North Dakota and getting ready for a national golf competition can be tricky. Golf Etc. in Bismarck is one of the places she’s been practicing at.
"It's definitely not in our advantage to be up here and not be able to golf in the winter but we have some practice facilities like the dome in Bismarck that we can practice at. Out here at the simulator and in Ashley we have some practice things like a putting green and some other stuff but also there are some Canadian competitors and there is a few Minnesota players so they know how I feel," said St. Aubin.
The St. Aubin’s will leave for Georgia next week, and the Drive, Chip and Putt Competition is on April 2.
"I'm very excited. It's going to be awesome to meet such great golfers, the cream of the crop and I'm just looking forward to meeting new people and showing them that North Dakota has something," said St. Aubin.
Emily was the Class B medalist last season as a seventh-grader, and next week she’ll be playing on a big time golf course. The putting will take place on the 18th green at Augusta National.