Photos Courtesy of Angel Pacheco
Some of you may remember this young lady, whom I had the pleasure of interviewing two years ago. Is anyone surprised to hear she is continuing to make a name for herself in the golf world? Not me! Angelina Pacheco returns with another impressive win under her belt; this time, she took her skills to the Drive, Chip and Putt (DCP) National Finals in Augusta, Georgia, and came out in first place for putting and in second place overall.
Over 3,000 kids from all 50 states compete in the DCP Finals: After three qualifying rounds, only 80 of them proceed to the final round. They are divided into age groups from age 7 to 15. Angelina, in the 12-13 age group, represented the entire Southeast region within her division and certainly represented it well.
This young lady dedicates much of her time to practice, where she is improving her game five times a week for several hours at a time. In addition to her focus on the sport, she also practices meditation. It never hurts to utilize mindfulness for the benefit of mind, body, soul and golf!
Support is never lacking in Angelina’s circle; she has the encouragement of her parents as well as the bustling Lake Nona golf community. Eagle Creek Golf Club, where the Pachecos practice avidly, is a huge source of support and has received so much joy from watching this 13-year-old grow and conquer throughout her time in the sport. After her latest victory in Augusta, the owner of Eagle Creek personally reached out to congratulate her – which, if you ask me, is indicative of the strong sense of community in Lake Nona.
“Everyone there is so kind to me and seems very pleased to watch my game grow through the years,” said Angelina.
She seemed wise beyond her years when she talked about her process throughout the DCP finals. She recalled doing her best to stay in the moment and simply focus on one shot at a time during the competition. When asked if there was a moment where she thought she might fail, Angelina said, “No, because you can never give up in golf until the final score is posted.” Wise words, and pretty universally-applicable ones at that.
“I understand that golf is a long journey and it’s a process with ups and downs,” she said. “I am also very driven and have goals for my future that keep me inspired.”
Young, ambitious folks deserve to be celebrated for their hard work and persistence. In this case, Angelina was invited to the DCP National Finals and had the opportunity to show Augusta what she’s all about. In addition to competing well, the event was featured on live television through the Golf Channel, and she was greatly commended by the commentators for her putting game. It is truly impressive to watch back. Angelina also took home a gorgeous trophy for her second-place overall win, which goes well with her first-place medal in putting. This local golfer has become an impressive competitor and continues to excel in her sport.
The Golf Channel’s commentators included a story about Angelina playing 18 holes with former number-one-ranked pro Lydia Ko. Ko had followed a similar path by becoming the youngest golfer of any gender to be ranked as number one in professional golf. According to the live broadcast, Angelina merely approached Ko on their home course in Eagle Creek and asked to join her. We very well may see an accolade just as substantial with Angelina in the coming years. She is doing an incredible job, and her work ethic will ensure that her success continues.
Keep an eye on our young friend as she competes in the Florida Junior Tour (which she had also recently won) and the Elite AJGA tour. She has had a great number of victories at only 13 years of age and looks forward to bringing home even more. Congratulations to Angelina Pacheco on a job well done at the Augusta National Golf Club’s Drive, Chip and Putt competition!