It was the officially decreed “Sarah Lydic Day” in the town of Ocean View when the 11-year-old Lord Baltimore Elementary School student teed off at the home of the Masters in Augusta, Ga., for the National Drive, Chip & Putt Challenge, taking third place against some of the best young golfers in the country.
In the girls’ 10-11 division, Lydic finished with a score of 5 in the drive category, 8 in the chip category and 8.5 in the putting category, which tied fourth-place overall finisher Kate Bennett of Fort Worth, Texas, for a category-high.
“I am happy about my performance overall,” said Lydic of the event held on Sunday, April 2.
“I was confident that I had prepared the best I could, and excited to compete and do my best at such a nice golf course,” she continued. “Of my six shots, I hit two great drives, two solid chips and one really great putt. The second putt just wouldn’t stop rolling and ended up a few feet past the hole.”
Overall, Lydic finished with a collective score of 21.5, just 2.5 points off from second-place finisher Chloe Kovelesky of Boca Raton, Fla., and 5.5 behind San Diego Ca.’s Lucy Yuan, in first place with a score of 27 on the day.
The trip to Augusta was the first of her young career, after falling just short of qualifying for the national finals in regional event held in Great Falls, Va., at the age of 8, back in 2014.
“Augusta National is the nicest golf course I have ever played on,” said Lydic of the experience. “The people treated us like we were professionals. The grass was perfect, and everything was beautiful.”
Adding to the experience, Lydic also got a chance to meet and talk with professional golfers, and even some politicians, on what has been the sport’s biggest stage.
“We met many famous people, including Annika Sorenstam, Nancy Lopez, Condoleezza Rice, and saw a lot of other professional golfers during the practice round on Monday,” she noted. “Competing against some of the best golfers in the nation was fun, but I wasn’t nervous. They are just normal people like me, and all I had to do was to focus on myself and hitting one shot at a time using the same routine that I have been practicing for years.”
Back at her home course at Bear Trap Dunes, the “Sarah Lydic Day” celebration was in full swing as the event unfolded, with the club hosting a special event at the Den at Bear Trap Dunes and even wired into a live feed from the Golf Channel while cheering Lydic on.
“My friends at Bear Trap are just awesome. They were so happy for me and were excited to see me and the trophy,” said Lydic of the support. “I left the trophy in the clubhouse at Bear Trap so everyone could see it and because they have helped me so much. My sister Hannah and I are so lucky to have such great friends.”
While Lydic’s trophy is currently on proud display at the club, she and her older sister, Hannah, are hoping to bring back plenty more hardware to their home course and their home town in the future, still with big dreams for their burgeoning careers.
“Even though I wanted to win, I was proud of my third-place finish,” said Sarah Lydic. “It has given me the confidence that I can win the next time.”