Cheers from cafeteria: BC gathers support for teen golfer


Brian Scrobel

Gathered in the cafeteria at BC, over 90 students, staff, and community members show their support for Sarah Balding (’22) as she competes in the Drive, Chip, and Putt Nationals at the Augusta National Golf Club. Halfway across the US, the Lancer community scores a chance to be on the Golf Channel as they cheer Balding on.

The Masters at Augusta National were kicked off with the national Drive, Chip and Putt contest. Accompanied by her coach, Chuck Wood, Sarah Balding (‘22) spent an eventful weekend at the esteemed Augusta National golf course where the Masters take place every year.

Balding’s journey, however, started last summer. To get to Augusta National, she had to place in the top three in local qualifiers, top two in subregionals and win the regional qualifier at Whistling Straits. As the name states, each stage is comprised of three parts: driving, chipping, and putting. Each golfer hits three drives, three chips, and three putts. The points are given depending on how well the shots have been hit and then the subsequent rankings of the players.

As family and friends watched from the BC Cafeteria Sunday morning, Balding didn’t let the nerves get to her. She feels that she performed very well, stating that “My first drive went out of the grid because I was a little nervous, but other than that it was good. Obviously, I would change some of my plays, but I’m still very proud of my performance”. From back home, BC students gathered to cheer and wish her luck, even gaining momentary fame on national television.

However, it wasn’t just her achievement that made everything so special. Being able to play at Augusta was “amazing, and I loved the whole experience. It’s something I will never forget”. What Balding experienced was something very few golfers get to, and it is a memory she will definitely treasure. As Chuck Wood says, “Sarah experienced Master’s lore that many have talked about, but few have lived”.

To other golfers, Balding urges them to seek out their potential. “If golf is something you’re passionate about, and you put in the time, your potential is endless. You are the person who controls how well you do, so enjoy the game and try your best!”

Congrats again, and good luck to Sarah on her future endeavors!