MARQUETTE - To be an accomplished golfer, one must be able to drive, chip and putt well. These are the skills that the Masters Tournament Foundation, United States Golf Association and the PGA of America are testing in young golfers in their Drive, Chip and Putt Competition.
Children from ages 7 to 15 were able to sign up to compete in the competition, but due to the overwhelming response received for the competition a random drawing was done to determine who could compete in a local qualifier. Jordan Jurmu, 12, of Marquette was one of the lucky few picked to compete.
"When we found out it was going to be a drawing we didn't think he would ever get to compete," said Allyson Jurmu, Jordan's mother. "But when we got that confirmation email it was so exciting."
Jordan Jurmu, 12, of Marquette, watches a putt travel across the green recently. (Photo courtesy of Brad Jurmu)
Jordan got his picture taken picture with J.J. Weaver, co-head golf professional of the Augusta National Golf Club, during the local qualifier of the USGA Drive, Chip and Putt competition at Oak Brook Golf Club in Chicago. (Photo courtesy of Brad Jurmu)
Jordan found out about the competition while he was watching the PGA Tour on television and asked his parents if he could enter. On June 29, Jordan competed at Oak Brook Golf Club in Illinois for at the local qualifier and won his age group and moved on the regional qualifier at the same course.
"I'm looking forward to the competition the most," Jordan said.
Jordan finished second in his age group Saturday, just seven points short of earning a trip to the national finals at Augusta National Golf Club. He finished first in chipping and third in driving.
When asked how many days he practiced a week, he said seven.
"He gets up early every day and heads out to the course and is there from the time it opens until it closes," said Brad Jurmu, Jordan's father. "Sometimes the older guys around (the course) will ask to take him out on the course with them or out to Greywalls."
Jordan Jurmu started playing golf when he was just 5 years old and started competing when he was 8 years old, Brad said.
"I took him out to the Northern Michigan University golf course and from that point on it's been nothing but golf," he said. "That's the only time I asked him to go and he just loved it."
Because of Jordan's love of the game, Allyson said they know more about golf then they ever have before. And even though it's not quite a family activity, Jordan's family goes to all of his competitions to support him, she said.
"I think it's something that teaches Jordan hard work," Brad said. "He's always striving to get better."
Jordan said he plans on continuing to play golf for the rest of his life and wants to play for the University of Michigan when he gets older and hopes to be a professional golfer one day.
"We're very proud of him on and off the course," Allyson said. "And we're just thankful for all the great people we've met and all the great opportunities he's had."
Adelle Whitefoot can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 243. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.