Watching one of golf’s Majors kindled Jack Farkas’ interest in the game. Little did the Llanerch Country Club member
know that five years later, he’d participate in a
Major of a different kind.
Farkas competed in the Drive Chip & Putt
National Finals at Augusta National Golf Club in
Augusta, Ga. April 1. For golfers ages 7-15, the
Junior golf development competition precedes
“It was an awesome time from the start,”
Farkas, 15, of Ardmore, Pa., said. “Rolling
down Magnolia Lane early in the morning, the
whole course was pristine. We were greeted
by a bunch of members. It was one of those
moments you’ll never forget.”
Farkas was among 79 individuals who
advanced through local, sub-regional and
regional qualifying to earn a spot at Augusta.
He competed in the Boys 14-15 Division.
“He’s your version of a gym rat for golf,”
Chris Wilkinson, Llanerch’s golf professional,
said. “He’s the kind of kid who’s here in the
summer when you get here and practicing
when you leave. He’s a testament to practicing
your short game. He got to Augusta by putting
lights out and chipping the ball.
“We tried to support him as much as we
could. Everybody was excited. He definitely
represented our club and the area well. I’m
proud of him.”
In the Boys 14-15 Division, Farkas accrued
seven points – five of which came during the
chipping portion – and tied for ninth. He didn’t
stress over his performance that day, however.
“I was probably more nervous at the local
qualifier [at White Clay Creek Country Club]. It
was one of my first competitions ever,” Farkas,
a freshman at Saint Joseph’s Preparatory
School, said. “At Augusta, I just embraced all of
the crowds and everything. It was cool to be
there. I had fun with it instead of being uptight
about it. I just wanted to enjoy it. It was a once
in a lifetime opportunity.”
FARKAS AND HIS FAMILY – parents Bob and Noreen, sister Kelsey, 19, and brother
Aidan, 12 – took a flight to South Carolina March
30 and then drove an hour and a half to the
Georgia golf mecca. Jack, along with his fellow
Drive Chip & Putt finalists, practiced at The River
Golf Club in North Augusta, S.C. He saw Augusta
National – from the gateway, that is – the next
day. A surprise visit from reigning Masters Champion Sergio Garcia occurred in the evening after
the event’s formal dinner. He informed the Drive
Chip & Putt finalists that each would receive a
signed Masters flag as a memento.
Topping the Farkas cool list is his experi-
ence on Augusta National’s 18th green, where
the putting portion of the Drive Chip & Putt
National Finals occurred.
“That’s where greats and legends are made.
It was cool to step foot on that green, which
most people never get to do,” he said.
In addition to his immediate family, Farkas’
aunt and uncle – Deirdre and Chris Edgerton
– stood among the spectators. Consider it a
“full circle” moment of sorts. The Edgertons
brought Farkas to the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion
Golf Club, where the wide-eyed 10-year-old
first saw and fell in love with golf.
It’s a passion that continues to burn.
Although Farkas won’t return to Drive Chip
& Putt because of age limit, he does plan on
playing in “a lot of tournaments” this year.
“I’m hoping to get my Handicap Index down
to a 5.0 and then hopefully make the varsity
golf team,” Farkas, who currently sports a 14. 4
Handicap Index, said.
Augusta National Golf Club member
Condoleezza Rice congratulates Jack
Farkas of Llanerch with a smile and job
well done after the putting portion of
the Drive Chip & Putt Finals. Rice, the
first African-American woman to be
appointed national security adviser and
U.S. Secretary of State, was one of the
first two female members admitted, in
2012, to Augusta National.
BY TONY REGINA