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11-year-old heads to Augusta after winning regional Drive Chip and Putt competition

Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 10:40 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - From Aldeen Golf Course to Augusta National, an 11-year-old from the Stateline earns an opportunity to hit shots on the most prestigious golf course in the country, and his story starts long before he won the Drive Chip and Putt competition.

“The driver I can hit them far,” Ledius Felipe said.

Far and straight, it’s how 11-year-old Felipe won the driving portion at the distinguished Medinah Golf Course in the Chicago suburbs.

“Putter those are the ones that make the score or decide the score and those are the ones that make it in the hole,” Felipe said.

His two favorite clubs helped propel Felipe past 14 others at the regional drive chip and putt competition. It lands him a spot on a course his family says always caught his eye.

“It started when he was actually watching the Masters when he was a toddler,” Ledius’ Mother Rosaline said. “He was just watching it for quite a few hours then he suddenly stood up and did the swing.”

He’s been swinging ever since Ledius first picked up a club days before his second birthday. He took a lesson at Aldeen with swing coach Lloyd McWilliams who says Ledius immediately stood out.

“He’s pretty natural so I didn’t have a lot of work to do,” McWilliams said. “I always tell the people that when I get a swing like his I try not to ruin it.”

Ledius says he hit shots extremely well at the regional competition, he even chipped one in to pull ahead. Now he can’t wait to play at Augusta with some of his idols.

“It’s exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time,” Ledius said. “When you play it’s peaceful it’s a mental game and physically challenging.”

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