Teen golfer to represent Columbia in drive, chip, putt champions - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Teen golfer to represent Columbia in drive, chip, putt championship at Augusta National

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Henry Augenstein of Columbia can't drive a car alone yet.

But, the 15 year-old still managed to drive a golf ball far enough to earn a shot at glory on one of golf's most hallowed grounds.

Henry's journey to Augusta National began when he won his age group at a regional tournament in Atlanta last summer.

It was all part of the Drive, Chip, and Putt Championship founded by the Masters Tournament Foundation, United States Golf Association and The PGA of America.

The tournament announced last April helps promote interest and participation in the game of golf.

Henry has golfed for more than half of his life. When he was 8, his granddad and dad placed a club in his hands and he's been hitting the links since.

In preparation, Henry hits the driving range and practice greens at Par-Tee Driving Range in Gadsden with his coach, Kevin Britt.

Britt has a lot of experience and success with young golfers. When Irmo native and current PGA Tour player Dustin Johnson was a junior golfer, Britt was his coach. Now Britt spends his time coaching the next generation of young South Carolina golfers, like Henry.

"The biggest thing is his love for the game and the passion he has to practice and play," Britt says. "He loves competing and the process of getting better."

So, how is Henry preparing both physically and mentally to compete on the final three holes at Augusta National in front of live cameras?

"I usually play every day leading up to a tournament just to get my head where it needs to be," Henry says.

Henry has some time to get ready. The finals will be held on the Sunday before the Masters Tournament, April 6. The Golf Channel will broadcast the event.

His entire family will be there to cheer him on and offer advice. Henry's parents, Craig and Kelly Augenstein, sister, and both sets of grandparents are avid golfers.

In fact, big sister, Mary Legare, was recruited to play on the women's golf team at the Naval Academy.

Henry attends Hammond School. He's a member of the varsity golf team for the Skyhawks.

For more information on the Drive, Chip, and Putt Tournament, visit www.drivechipandputt.com.

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