11-year-old girl from Lehi headed to the Masters

Posted at 9:51 PM, Apr 01, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-02 10:29:43-04

LEHI, Utah --  When Berlin Long was 8-years-old, she was with a friend who had golf clubs and she decided to pick one up and hit. Since then, she's loved the game. Now, the 11-year-old girl is headed to the Masters for the youth "Drive, Chip, Putt" National Finals Competition at Augusta National.

"I'm super excited and it is such a good opportunity to have to help grow the game of golf," Long said. "Not many people get to go to Augusta overall, and I get to be inside the ropes and putt on the 18th green."

Long was just 1 point away from heading to Augusta in 2014. She said her second place medal inspired her every day to work towards attending the finals this year.

Now she's headed to Augusta and is in the spotlight.

Professional golfer Mike Weir has experience with cameras and says Berlin is going to have to get used to the attention.

"It's a little nerve-wracking but it was fun. It was a cool experience," Long said about having cameras on her while chipping balls with Weir.

"I was telling her she needs to get used to it," Weir said. "Her swing looks pretty good and if she wants to pursue it as a college golfer and maybe a professional golfer down the road and part of that is playing with cameras. So, I think that is what's great about this event at Augusta is getting kids exposed to that, you know, keeping their focus and I think she proved that she can do that."

Weir knows Augusta well, winning the Masters in 2003. He had some tips for Berlin on the famous 18th hole "O'Meara Putt" - one that regularly tricks golfers - except Mark O'Meara who won the 1998 masters with a perfect putt on that hole.

"This is top secret, you can't tell the other kids," Weir said. "So, for the O'Meara Putt, it doesn't break as far left as you think."

Berlin's dad agreed with Weir, who replied: "Oh, you have heard? So, it's not a secret!"

Berlin and her family head on the road to Augusta National this week and she will compete on Sunday, April 5th.