National Champ

Landry Frost becomes 4th Coloradan in last 3 years to win a national title in an individual discipline at Drive, Chip & Putt National Finals at Augusta National; other Coloradans who competed were Simon White and Sydney Liddell

By Gary Baines – 4/7/2024

AUGUSTA, Ga. — No Coloradan has ever won an overall title in the Drive, Chip & Putt National Finals that Augusta National Golf Club hosts. But kids from the Centennial State are certainly getting the hang of winning individual-discipline national championships in the DCP.

A year after Jacob Eagan of Castle Rock (chipping) and Brady Shaw of Pueblo (putting) prevailed in the DCP National Finals, Landry Frost of Colorado Springs claimed the chipping championship in the girls 14-15 division on Sunday. Two years ago, Sophia Capua of Aurora won the same competition of the National Finals in girls 14-15. 

That makes four individual-discipline DCP titles for Coloradans in the last three years at the National Finals, which are televised nationwide by the Golf Channel. Just 80 kids — in eight age/gender divisions — qualify for the National Finals, and this year that included three Coloradans.

“Being from Colorado makes it a lot harder to (win one, given what winter is like in the state), so it’s even more of an accomplishment,” Frost said. 

The 14-year-old not only won the girls 14-15 chipping, she was dominant on Sunday. Her two chips added together finished just 6 feet, 5 inches from the hole (2 feet, 4 inches with her first attempt, and 4 feet, 1 inch on her second). The next-closest cumulative total for the 10-player girls 14-15 division was 13-4.

“I was calm, relaxed and stayed in the moment,” said Frost, a redhead who had her dad Bowie on her bag Sunday. “That helped me to have good tempo, and I was able to get it done. I just watched other people’s shots and was able to have a good (rhythm).” 

Last September when she won the regional qualifier at Castle Pines Golf Club, Frost said putting was her favorite skill. But apparently she’s most proficient at chipping. 

“For sure right now, chipping is my best (discipline),” she said. “And I think I knew that coming in, too. I’ve been practicing it a lot.” 

Frost en route to victory in the chipping portion of Sunday’s event. (Photo: Shanna Lockwood/DCP)

And it only seemed appropriate that the tour professional who presented  Frost her chipping trophy on Sunday was Annika Sorenstam, who won the first of her 72 LPGA Tour titles at the 1995 U.S. Women’s Open in Colorado Springs. That’s Frost’s neck of the woods.

“That was cool,” Frost said of crossing paths with one of the greatest women’s golfers of all time. “I’ve watched videos about her so getting to meet her and hug her was really neat.”

After winning the chipping — and placing seventh with a drive of 237 yards — Frost was very much in the running to become the first Coloradan to capture an overall National Finals title in the Drive, Chip and Putt. (Last year, Eagan came very close to managing the feat, but he lost in a playoff to Knox Mason of Portland, Tenn., in boys 7-9.)

Frost went into the putting — which takes place on the famed 18th green at Augusta National — one point out of the lead. As it turns out, had she finished third or better in the putting, she would have prevailed in the overall. But she ended up eighth with the flatstick, with her putts from 30 and 15 feet finishing a cumulative total of 6 feet, 1 inch from the holes.

“I wasn’t really thinking about that” at the time, she said of the possible overall victory. “I was just trying to stay in the moment. I would have loved to win, but just getting here is awesome.”

Walking off the 18th green, Frost had an only-at-Augusta National moment, shaking hands with former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, a member at ANGC and a graduate of St. Mary’s Academy and the University of Denver.

Simon White of Colorado Springs uses some body English on one of his putts Sunday. (Photo: Simon Bruty/DCP)

As for the other Coloradans who competed on Sunday in the DCP National Finals, experiencing all that Augusta National and the competition have to offer was likewise unforgettable. But, performance-wise, they had to chalk up how they finished to experience. 

Simon White of Colorado Springs (boys 14-15) finished ninth overall, while Sydney Liddell of Parker (girls 7-9) was 10th.

White did have a couple of unique experiences on Sunday as he hit the first competitive ball of the day as he led off the drive portion for his division, which was the first off of the day. And while he was disappointed he didn’t perform better overall, he finished on a high note by sinking his 15-foot putt and punctuating it with a fist pump. 

“I’m kind of feeling numb right now,” the 14-year-old said. “I wanted to win really bad, but I felt short. But hitting that putt and making it on 18 in the Sunday pin position (for the Masters), not many people can say they’ve done that. That’s pretty cool.”

And there’s a big-picture potential positive for White. Like Frost, he’ll have one more year to try to qualify for the National Finals in the oldest division. And he’s confident that he’ll not only return, but he’ll make some noise at Augusta National next year.

“I’ll be back here and I’ll win it because I’ll know what to do (next time),” he said. “And I know how it feels.

“It’s just a learning experience. I’ve never been on this big of a stage before. It’s easy to say, ‘Tiger (Woods) just went and did it his first time,’ but he was a lot better than me.” 

On Sunday, White put himself behind the 8 ball by hitting his first drive out of bounds, not catching his next one solid, then struggling with his chipping — collectively “laying an egg,” as he put it.

“My first swing was super nervy when I hit my drives. And my chips were just bad chips. After hitting those drives, I was kind of all over the place.”

But sinking the last of his grand total of six strokes of the DCP National Finals — the 15-foot putt — at least left White with a better taste in his mouth.

And, there’s no beating the weekend experience the competitors got at Augusta National.

“The people we’ve gotten to meet — last night at the dinner I got to meet Nancy Lopez, Peter Jacobsen and Mike Tirico — that was cool,” White said. “Shaking Sir Nick Faldo’s hand (at the awards ceremony) was also great. These are things you dream about. It’s kind of like, ‘Now it’s reality and I don’t think it’s set in with me yet.”

And heading down Magnolia Lane was an unforgettable moment as well. And attending Monday’s practice round figures to add even more to the experience.

“I didn’t think it was going to be this cool — this many people coming to watch us,” White said. “This will be something I won’t ever forget — especially since it’s my first time here, and it won’t be my last.”

Sydney Liddell of Parker hits a drive on Sunday at Augusta National Golf Club. (Photo: Thomas Lovelock/DCP)

Though Liddell likewise didn’t perform her best on Sunday, she managed quite a feat by advancing to the National Finals in her first year competing in DCP.

“I felt pretty good. I made it to Augusta National, which is pretty fun,” she said.

And so was the Magnolia Lane experience — and going to a dinner function with Tirico and other well-known sports personalities. Plus, former Masters champ Larry Mize was handing out awards at the girls 7-9 ceremony on Sunday.

As for the competition itself, as you might imagine for a 9-year-old competing in a nationally televised event, Liddell wasn’t in her comfort zone on Sunday.

“I was very nervous actually,” she said. Do you wish you had some do-overs? Liddell was asked.

“Definitely,” she said.

In the National Finals at ANGC, the 80 golfers compete in driving and chipping in the practice area, then in the putting on the 18th green of the famed course.

Sixteen Coloradans all time have qualified for the DCP National Finals, which were first held in 2014. Previously competing in the event at Augusta National were Caitlyn Chin twice (2016 and ’19), Luke Trujillo (2016), Arielle Keating (2016), Kaden Ford (2018), Chunya Boonta (2019), Grady Ortiz (2019), Capua (2022), Matai Naqica (2022), Anthony Chen (2022), Judd Nikkel (2022), Eagan (2023), Shaw (2023) and Koehn Kuenzler (2023).

Three stages of qualifying precede the National Finals: locals, sub regionals and regionals. For Coloradans, the regional qualifier the past two years has been held at Castle Pines Golf Club, host of the 2024 BMW Championship.

DCP is sponsored by the Masters, the USGA and the PGA of America. The competition is limited to players 7-15.

“I hope you’ll cherish your memories (of competing at Augusta National) for the rest of your life,” Masters and Augusta National Golf Club chairman Fred Ridley said at the conclusion of Sunday’s National Finals.

Notable: Thanks to his playoff victory in the Valero Texas Open on Sunday, Akshay Bhatia earned a spot into the Masters, which starts Thursday at Augusta National Golf Club. Bhatia thus becomes the first former DCP competitor to land a Masters berth. Bhatia was in the field for the first DCP National Finals in 2014 at ANGC. … As the girls 14-15 age division was walking toward its final competition of the day on Sunday — putting — three-time Masters champion Gary Player approached the first tee and told the assembled patrons that this year marked his 67th trip to Augusta National. It’s “paradise,” he said. Player first competed in the Masters in 1957. His last appearance as an official competitor was 2009.


(Points: Drive-Chip-Putt—Total)

Girls 14-15

4th overall (out of 10 players). Landry Frost, Colorado Springs 4 points (7th place)-10 points (first place)-3 points (eighth place)—17 points total

Boys 14-15

9th overall (out of 10 players). Simon White, Colorado Springs 3 points (8th place)-1 point (10th place)-6 points (fifth place)—10 points total

Girls 7-9

10th overall (out of 10 players). Sydney Liddell, Parker 2-2-2 (each competition ninth place)—6 points total

For the complete results from all eight age/gender divisions, CLICK HERE.

About the Writer: Gary Baines has covered golf in Colorado continuously since 1983. He was a sports writer at the Daily Camera newspaper in Boulder, then the sports editor there, and has written regularly for since 2009. The University of Colorado Evans Scholar alum was inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2022. He owns and operates