The national championship at Celebration Golf Club featured 67 juniors representing 23 states and Canada. Participants were divided into four age groups (7-8, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14) that competed in three skills events ' driving, chipping and putting ' with the best combined score in each age group named national champions.
Botts victory in the 13-14 age division did not come easy. He and Andrew McCain (Pueblo, Colo.) tied for first place after regulation. The two competed in a putting playoff, where Botts sank a 30-foot putt to capture his first national championship.
I had a lot of confidence on that putt, Botts said. I knew it was going in the hole right after I hit it. It was a lot of fun today.
Eisch, who qualified for the national championships in the 7-8 age division in April, competed in the drive, chip & putt competition for the first time in 2008. Dalke, who made his second appearance at the national championships, played consistent throughout the day en-route to his 9-10 age division victory. Kim defeated the boys in the 11-12 age division, becoming the first female to capture a Drive, Chip & Putt title since 2005, when Orlandos Alessandra Kutz won the 9-10 age division.
All participants qualified to compete in the national championships via finishing in the top-three in their respective age groups at one of 52 local championships, followed by taking first-place at one of 16 regional championships in 2008.
An hour-long national championships highlight show is scheduled to air on GOLF CHANNEL Nov. 27 at 6 p.m. ET.
7-8 AGE DIVISION
1. Robby Eisch, 9, Tampa, Fla. (8-years-old during local qualifier)
2. Charlie Reiter, 9, Palm Desert, Calif. (8-years-old during local qualifier)
3. A.J. Beechler, 8, Pinehurst, N.C.
9-10 AGE DIVISION
1. Brad Dalke, 11, Burkburnett, Texas (10-years-old during local qualifier)
2. Samuel Kim, 11, Irvine, Calif. (10-years-old during qualifier)
3. Lilia Vu, 10, Fountain Valley, Calif.
11-12 AGE DIVISION
1. Hannah Kim, 12, San Diego
2. Isaiah Salinda, 11, San Francisco
3. Grant Rogers, 12, Boulder, Colo.
13-14 AGE DIVISION
1. Zach Botts, 13, Jonesborough, Tenn. (Won via playoff)
2. Andrew McCain, 14, Pueblo, Colo.
3. Evan Sommer, 13, Pittsburgh, Pa.