It has been decreed.
Next Sunday, April 2, will officially be recognized as “Sarah Lydic Day,” as proclaimed by Mayor Walter Curran and the Town of Ocean View, in honor of the 11-year old Lord Baltimore Elementary School student as she sets off to represent her community at the national finals of this year’s Drive, Chip & Putt Challenge at the home of the Masters in Augusta, Ga.
But while making it to Augusta to compete against the nation’s top young talent may warrant the honor on its own, Lydic and her older sister, Hannah Lydic, have made their impact on the local community and members of their home course at Bear Trap Dunes, far beyond the 18th hole, since stepping onto the local golf scene.
“Most of the members of the club are of an age where they have grandkids. These are two additional grandkids,” said Curran, a Bear Trap member himself. “They’re part of the family. They’re polite, they’re well behaved, they’re not only good at what they do, but they’re just great kids. Their parents have done a wonderful job raising them.”
It was four years ago that the Lydic sisters went from putting and chipping in the back yard to seeking out a place to stretch their 9-irons. That’s when their father, Garrett Lydic, approached Bear Trap Director of Golf and PGA professional Neil Maurer to see about joining the club.
Not only were his daughters invited to join, but Bear Trap members would end up going out of their way to sponsor them.
“It just blew my mind,” said Garrett Lydic of the support from the club and the Sarah Lydic Day acknowledgement from the Town. “It’s just so consistent with everything that’s ever happened. They’ve just opened their arms wide open to the girls. They got access to all the practice facilities, whatever they needed.”
It wasn’t long after that that Hannah and Sarah started going par for par with some of Bear Trap’s top golfers, with support and motivation from club champions including Karen Sergison and Mike McGowan, in addition to the rest of the members who went on to accept them as “part of the family.”
“He’s like a third grandfather to the girls — he loves them to death, and they love him to death,” said Garrett Lydic of McGowan. “The girls just think the world of all of them.”
“They’ve shown so much love and support. We have more ‘grandparents’ and ‘aunts and uncles’ than we’ve ever had,” added Sarah Lydic. ”They cheer us on when we have a tournament and play with us on the course, and we always have a lot of fun. They care so much about us. We love them. Had we not started playing golf, we would have never met them and would have never had the chance to meet such great people.”
When Sarah Lydic day rolls around on April 2, that same Bear Trap family will be ready to cheer her on while she goes up against 80 of the best golfers in the nation and when Bear Trap hosts a brunch at the Den at Bear Trap featuring a live feed of the event on the Golf Channel.
The club was selected as one of the only facilities in the nation to receive a live remote access feed where the celebration will be broadcast on the Golf Channel during the event, adding to the excitement of the day.
“It’s a big deal,” said Maurer of the event. “We’re a family here. It takes a village to get there, and we’re all excited. Sarah has as good a chance as any of them.”
Lydic earned her way to Augusta this past August, when she placed first overall in the girls’ 10-11 regional qualifying event held at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pa.
The achievement comes three years after she just missed the cut at regionals at the age of 8.
“I am feeling really excited,” said Sarah Lydic of heading into the finals. ”I think that thinking about going to Augusta is motivating me and making me work harder than I ever have. It’s been my goal ever since the Drive, Chip & Putt started three years ago.”
“I’m really excited for Sarah,” said Hannah Lydic. “She and I have been working hard and helping each other improve our games. I’m really proud of her for achieving her goal.”
While Hannah Lydic has racked up her own fair share of both athletic and academic achievements, those close to the Lydics said that the motivational rivalry between the sisters has been a primary factor in their ultimate success.
“Obviously, as a PGA professional for 22 years, I’ve seen a lot of talent, and they are the hardest-working two girls that I’ve seen,” said Maurer. “I’m super-proud of Sarah, and I’m super-proud of Hannah, too. Sarah couldn’t do this without Hannah. Her sister is her idol. She’s the one out their every day, competing with her.”
In the future, both Lydic sisters have big plans and big dreams of one day going on to join the LPGA tour.
No matter what the future holds, however, they’re ready to experience their first trip to the home of the Masters, and to represent the community and the club that’s embraced them as one of their own as best as they can.
“This has all come from them,” said Garrett Lydic. “It’s just a very giving and very supportive group of people that live down here. It’s really amazing as a parent — I just feel really blessed to have my girls in such a great environment.”
“I’m honored and will do my best to make Bear Trap Dunes and Ocean View proud,” said Sarah Lydic. “It’s amazing to be able to represent my community. My sister and I have worked so hard. I will do my best, and I appreciate the support my entire school and community has shown me.”
The Drive, Chip & Putt finals festivities at the Den at Bear Trap Dunes will get under way at 8 a.m. on Sunday, April 2. To reserve a seat for the action, call Bear Trap at (302) 537-5600.