Makenzie Hart, right, gives a high five to a fellow golfer after competing in the drive portion of the Drive, Chip & Putt competition on Aug. 5. Hart took third in the putt portion of the contest. (Submitted Photo)

Makenzie Hart, right, gives a high five to a fellow golfer after competing in the drive portion of the Drive, Chip & Putt competition on Aug. 5. Hart took third in the putt portion of the contest. (Submitted Photo)

Local junior golfer Mackenzie Hart places 8th at Drive, Pitch and Putt subregionals

Highlighted by a third-place finish in the putting competition, Grays Harbor Junior golfer Makenzie Hart placed eighth overall in the Golf, Drive, Chip and Putt contest in DuPont on Aug. 5.

The putt portion of the competition at The Home Course included putts from six feet, 15 feet and 30 feet with each golfer earning more points for getting the ball closest to the hole.

The event is open to junior golfers nationwide and was organized by The Masters Tournament, United States Golf Association and the PGA of America in 2013.

Hart sank her 6-foot putt to earn 25 points to help get her score up to 41 and earn a bronze medal in the competition in the 7-9 age group.

Grays Harbor Junior Golf team head coach Arnel Blancas said he enjoyed seeing one of his young golfers compete while fellow golfers cheered her on.

“The cool thing is she was an 8-year-old and there were a bunch of the big kids down there kind of cheering her on … She did great,” he said.

Hart came in eighth place out of 15 golfers in her age group with a three-event total of 54 points. Hart scored three points in the chip competition and 10 more points in the drive event to round out her scoring at the course in DuPont.

Hart finished 27 points out of the fourth-place spot, where she would have qualified for the regional contest held next month.

Blancas said he was relaxed watching Hart compete despite not being allowed to give her pointers when she took the course.

“As soon as they start competing, they’re on their own. You’re actually not allowed to coach them,” he said. “For me, it’s not really nerve racking. It’s just a cool opportunity.”

For Blancas, Hart’s performance against some of the best young golfers in the region highlights the dedication members of Grays Harbor Junior Golf have displayed.

He said all of Hart’s success is well deserved.

“Makenzie is part of a group of kids that work out really hard. She earned it this year,” he said. “She put in a lot of extra effort above and beyond what some of the other kids did and she reaped the benefits of it.”