Local girl to compete at Augusta National in Drive, Chip and Putt Championships

Last year, it was a local caddie (Michael Greller) who experienced victory at Augusta National Golf Club.

This year, it could be a local 12-year-old girl.

"My teachers keep telling me, 'You know how cool that is?'"

Arlington's Malia Schroeder is one of 80 national finalists and the only one from our state in the Drive, Chip and Putt Championships taking place on Sunday at Augusta. She's one of two golfers in her age group competing for the national crown.

"I never thought that I'd get to that point where I'd actually be at that golf course. But here we are," Schroeder said.

On the same grounds as her favorite golfer, Jordan Spieth, Schroeder will take center stage on national TV - and she'll have her dad on the bag.

"Every time you watch that tournament on TV, you say 'How beautiful is that?' and just to be able to go and rub your fingers through the grass will be pretty neat," Kirk Schroeder said.

It comes after Malia's third attempt to qualify, surviving three rounds at the local and regional level, culminating in a win last September at Chambers Bay.

"My farthest drive at Chambers Bay was around 200 yards, so it's definitely improved from one of my first years," Malia Schroeder said.