With only a couple weeks left until the Drive Chip & Putt National Championship, we spoke with our third finalist, Ariana Saenz (Porter) to see how she's handling all the nerves and excitement as the trip to Augusta nears.
STPGA: What are you most excited about for your trip to Augusta National?
AS: I am mostly excited about the competition and getting to see the Augusta National for the first time. I have watched it on TV many times and being able to compete on the Masters course will be something I will remember all my life.
STPGA: How are you practicing for the DCP Finals?
AS: I currently attend Kingwood Park High School and I am on the varsity golf team. We practice three times a week and I am also a participant at the First Tee of Greater Houston, so I go and practice on Saturday my short game. I have been playing in several tournaments so it keeps me busy and sharp. I have also been seeing my swing coach Mr. Art Scarborough.
STPGA: Who all will be traveling to Augusta National to cheer for you?
AS: I am so excited to be bringing my parents, my sister Bella, my grandparents, and my high school coach, Coach Chancellor. I believe my swing coach will also be there as well.
STPGA: How did the STPGA program prepare you for the DCP Competition?
AS: I have been participating in the STPGA program since I was about seven years old. It helped me start playing competitively in golf and taught me many lessons about winning and losing. I was fortunate to have won some big tournaments in my STPGA career and played in several sudden death playoffs. I compare this a lot to what is required when competing in the Drive, Chip, and Putt. Each time you compete there is only one chance and it is pretty intense.
STPGA: Is there anyone you want to thank for helping you get to this championship?
AS: First I give thanks to God, He is my strength and courage. I would also really like to thank my amazing family especially my mom and dad. They have helped me so much throughout my golf career. They are very supportive and a big reason for all the success I have had. Love you mom and dad!
STPGA: What golf course do you practice at in Texas?
AS: I am very blessed and am fortunate to be able to practice at many different facilities. They are Kingwood Country Club, Oakhurst Golf Course, The Golf Club of Houston, and The First Tee of Greater Houston.
STPGA: Do you currently work with a PGA Professional and if so, who?
AS: Yes my swing coach is Art Scarborough, PGA. Love him, he has taught me so much and has really helped me elevate my game.
STPGA: What do you do for fun outside of golf?
AS: I like to read, spend time with my family and friends. I like taking vacations with my family, especially to the Frio River where we go tubing and just relax. I have been able to go to Disney several times with friends and family, I love to ride the rides. I like to go the movies. Other than that I like to spend time on Snapchat with my friends or Instagram.
STPGA: Any other comments you wish to say?
AS: I want to send a big thank you to all of the Texas Golf Programs that have helped me throughout the years. The STPGA, The First Tee of Greater Houston, HGA, Texas Legends Junior Tour, and AJGA. Also, I would like to thank all my friends and family who have supported me throughout the years, I really wish I could take everyone. I would also like to thank my first coach Mr. Franci, he really showed me a lot about the game and most importantly the importance of loving and respecting the game. Thank you so much STPGA for all the doors you have opened for me and helping me get my game to where it is today.