DEDHAM (CBS) – Eleven year old Joey Lenane spent hours preparing to walk on a course most golfers dream about: Augusta National.
“I was really happy and really excited,” Joey said.
The sixth grader advanced through three qualifying rounds to earn a spot at the “Drive, Chip and Putt Championship” this weekend at the historic course in Georgia.
His parents are still in disbelief. “We’re still pinching ourselves to say, is this real,” his father Tim Lenane said.
Joey started hitting golf balls two years ago. At a driving range following mini-golf, he just started hitting the balls. His parents said they looked at each other in shock at how well he did.
“He joined a golf academy and it went full throttle,” said Tim.
Their family room now houses a golf practice area with a turf green and net. There’s even a hole in the floor for putts.
“It’s crazy but it’s for the best. He loves it and he smiles,” his mother Leilani Lenane said.
The entire Lenane family will travel to Augusta to watch Joey on Sunday. He has a lot of support back in Dedham too. In town, a highway sign blinks good luck. At school the entire cafeteria cheered and wished Joey good luck too.
His biggest fan stands next to him on the course. Tim Lenane is a Boston Police Officer, but on the green he’s his son’s caddy.
“Just me and him walking the course,” said Tim.
Joey admits he gets a little nervous when he competes, but he just tries to do his best. His family said he’s already a winner.
Joey is one of 40 boys and 40 girls competing at the championship. There are four age groups. Each golfer gets three shots in each of the categories – drive, chip and putt.