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10-year-old Redlands golfer headed to Augusta National Golf Club for competition

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Liam Hartling is only 10 years old, but the golf protege is competing in a national drive, chip and putt competition at the Augusta National Golf Club, the site of the Masters Tournament. (KABC)

For nearly his entire life, 10-year-old Liam Hartling has played golf, and his goal is simple - to be a professional when he's older.

But even at his young age, he's already scheduled to do something almost every golfer can only dream of - compete at Augusta National Golf Club, the site of the Masters Tournament.

"I'm really excited because I could see all the pros," he said.

Liam's father, Ken Hartling, points out that his son won't be competing in Masters, but he'll be in the drive, chip and putt championship for boys and girls between ages 7 to 15. It's scheduled the Sunday before the Masters.

Liam has been playing golf since he was 2 years old. His father said there was always some sort of green in the backyard and it was a hobby they did to stay occupied.

But to punch his ticket to Augusta, Liam needed to come in first place at a qualifying event at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles more than a week ago.

"I was nervous, but it was so cool because when we walked in there, the clubhouse was ginormous," he said.

Liam was only judged on nine shots: three drivers, three chips and three putts. With the highest point total in his age group, he came in first place. But he doesn't want to just compete in the drive, chip and putt championship. He has another goal for next year.

He wants to play a round on the highly-exclusive Augusta National Golf Course.

"I'm going to try to get on Bubba Watson's, or one of pro's, good sides so they could let me play on Monday - a practice run or something," he said.
Related Topics:
sportssocietygolfMasterschildrencompetitionRedlandsSan Bernardino CountyGeorgia
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