Sawyer Brockstedt//Photo by Laura Novak
Sawyer Brockstedt is only 11, but she can boast that she played golf at the legendary Augusta National Golf Club. That is where the Rehoboth Beach resident earned a fourth-place tie in her age group at the Drive, Chip and Putt national finals. Brockstedt, a 6th-grader at Sussex Academy in Georgetown, won three qualifiers to earn the trip to the finals, where she got to rub elbows with Sergio García and Annika Sörenstam, among other celebrities.
When did you start playing golf?
I was 6 years old when I got my first clubs, but I didn’t start getting serious until I was 8 years old. Then I started practicing every day. I saw the Drive, Chip and Putt on the Golf Channel and that’s what really made me want to get better and go there.
What got you interested in the sport?
My dad is an avid golfer, so when he was on the course, I would go out with him. And I also went out with my Pop-Pop a lot. I’ve always lived in a golf neighborhood, so it’s nice to have a course right in my backyard.
Do you have a handicap?
Yes, I do. Right now it’s not very good [laughs]. I’m an 8.
Where would you like it to be?
Well, I’ve gotten better. Last summer I was a 12, but my goal this summer is to get it down to a 4.
What’s the lowest score you’ve ever shot in a competition?
I shot a 35 for nine holes and 72 for 18.
How did you get to be so good?
I practice every day and play three or four times a week. Even if I don’t play, I am practicing.
What were some of the highlights of your trip?
My whole family and close friends came down and watched me. That was definitely great. Then, at the dinner the night before the competition, there were a lot of famous people there. Sergio García was there. Condoleezza Rice, Nancy Lopez, Annika Sörenstam. A lot of people were there, so that was super cool. We also got to see the chairman of Augusta and a lot of people wearing green jackets.
Were you happy with your performance?
I would have rather won or come in the top three. But I got there and that was a win.
You had been to Augusta before to watch the Masters, right?
Yes. The year before I went on a Thursday with my dad and my Pop-Pop, and we got to see a tournament round there. Augusta is super nice. The fairways are like a rug. It looks like turf. And it’s super manicured. It’s definitely the finest golf course I’ve ever seen.
What’s the coolest thing you saw that day?
I was watching Phil Mickelson warm up on the putting green, and the security guard sitting inside the ropes let me inside the ropes and let me watch him putt. And [Mickelson] walked past me and gave me a high-five.
Who is your favorite golfer?
I’m really a fan of Jordan Spieth. My favorite female golfer is Paula Creamer. Once a year or maybe twice my dad plays in an invitational where a bunch of pros live. He brings me and one year I got to see Paula Creamer and ride around in her golf cart.
What are your goals, as far as golf?
I want to be an LPGA professional. I really want to go to Duke for college and be on the golf team and then be on the LPGA Tour.