KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A young golfer will return to Knoxville from the sport’s most prestigious course as a champion of the national Drive, Chip & Putt competition.
Jake Sheffield, 14, was one of two youth golfers from Tennessee to make the elite Drive, Chip & Putt National Finals at the Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia.
The Maryville High School golfer was crowned champion of the boys 14-15 group, beating out nine other top competitors from around the country.
Qualifying began in May to narrow the field down from 3,000 entrants for the annual competition that takes place the weekend before the start of the iconic Masters Tournament. Sheffield earned his ticket to the national finals at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina, advancing out of the regional qualifier by one point.
Sheffield has been golfing since he was seven years old and has won 70 of the 140 tournaments he has played in.
“My goal is to pay for college, play in college and eventually play on the PGA tour,” he told WATE’s Lori Tucker.
The teen is coached by his father, Kevin, and Jason Gandy, who has caddied for pro golfers like Y.E. Yang and Wes Roach. He also credits his uncle Mike Sheffield and grandmother Karen Meadows, both of whom recently passed away, with inspiring and supporting him on his journey.