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Idaho teen wins putting title, ties for second overall at Augusta

Daniel Uranga, 14 of Homedale, received his putting championship trophy from golf legend Tom Watson on Sunday at Augusta National Golf Club.
Daniel Uranga, 14 of Homedale, received his putting championship trophy from golf legend Tom Watson on Sunday at Augusta National Golf Club. Special to the Idaho Statesman

Daniel Uranga of Homedale dominated the putting competition on the 18th green at Augusta National Golf Club on Sunday and tied for second overall at the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship. The 14-year-old competed in the boys 14-15 division.

Uranga’s two putts finished a total of 1 foot, 4 inches away from the holes. He missed his first putt by 1 inch.

Of the 80 boys and girls competing from ages 7-15, Uranga tied for the best putting performance. Skyler Fox of Beaver Falls, Pa., also posted a 1-4 putting total in the boys 12-13 division.

“It was kind of hard to focus with all the people around,” Uranga said. “I knew I had to come up big there.”

Uranga finished third in driving to score eight points. His tee shots went 216.2 and 226.9 yards and finished in the fairway. Players were ranked by their best drive. The driving range was slightly uphill and into the wind.

Uranga struggled on his first of two chips, which finished 12 feet, 5 inches from the hole. He added a chip to 3-3 for an aggregate of 15-8, which ranked seventh of the 10 players. He received four points. If Uranga had trimmed 4 inches off his chipping total, he would have tied for first overall. Like the driving contest, Uranga went first in chipping by blind draw. The two chips were from the same location (about 20 yards away) and to the same hole.

“I picked my landing spot and I just didn’t hit it hard enough to get to my landing spot,” he said.

Putting ended the day. Uranga nearly holed his first putt — a slippery, 30-foot putt that gave many trouble. His putt was sliding down toward the hole and nearly went in the side door before stopping.

His second putt, to the traditional final-round hole location for the Masters, slipped by on the low side of the hole. The putt was intended to replicate the 20-footer that Adam Scott made in the final round in 2013.

The second-best putting performance in the boys 14-15 division was a 4-2 aggregate. Uranga received 10 points for putting.

Uranga earned 22 points overall. Michael Thorbjornsen of Wellesley, Mass., won the overall championship with 23 points. Chase Venn of Columbia, Mo., and Marco Punzo of Prosper, Texas, also scored 22 points.

Golf legend and former Masters champion Tom Watson presented Uranga with his putting trophy. Uranga also met Lou Holtz, Adam Scott, Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar during the event. PGA Tour pro Troy Merritt of Meridian watched the putting.

“When we got there, it was really cool,” Uranga said. “Hard to describe. Throughout the competition, it was just cool seeing everything. ... It was a plus coming away with two trophies.”

Check out the full results here.

Here is the story we wrote about Uranga before his trip.

Watch 14-year-old Daniel Uranga hit a couple of shots. The boy from Homedale will compete in the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at Augusta National Golf Club.

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