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Former Little Vike gains notoriety in Augusta

April 9, 2021

VICTORIA - Little Vikes graduate and Callaway Junior Tour member Anna Wu chipped her way onto the podium, taking second place in the sixth annual Drive, Chip, Putt championship at Augusta National, home of The Masters PGA tournament.

Wu’s performance turned heads, including that of golf legend Phil Mickelson, after notching the best chip of the day in the 7–9-year-old girls’ division.

“'Watched Anna Wu hole a chip in the DCP [Drive, Chip and Putt] Contest,' tweeted three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson. 'Look how her hands are way ahead, which keeps the leading edge down. Brilliant!'”

Wu’s journey to Augusta started in December 2019, after winning a regional Drive, Chip and Putt competition at Chambers Bay in Washington State, qualifying her for the big event to be held during The Masters.

The Junior Tour member got her start by attending Little Vikes Ridge events in 2018. In Ridge events, former Little Vikes and members of the UVic men's and women's golf teams mentor the young golfers.

“In these events, our older tour members mentor new players on how to play quickly and courteously, in other words, on how to play golf as opposed to how to hit a golf ball. Anna played her first tour event with us in October 2018, when we let some of the participants in our Ridge events play nine holes in our season wrap-up event at Highland Pacific. As I recall, she won a prize,“ said Director of Junior Golf Victoria, Bob Russell.

The Tour sponsors camps and year-round clinics for beginners. It also operates 15 to 20 competitive tournaments a year and Little Vikes events that introduce children as young as four to the game by playing three or four holes on area courses under the supervision of members of the UVic men’s and women’s golf teams. At present, close to 200 children participate in its various programs; close to half of them are 12 years of age or younger.

“We teach kids how to hit a golf ball, how to play golf, and we give them a place to play. We’re the only junior golf program we know of that does all three and we would not have had the opportunity to make the difference we have in hundreds of children’s lives without Clint Hamilton and the Vikes commitment to this community,” said Russell.

Read Wu’s full success story in the Times Colonist, April 5.