Augusta girl 

That’s a claim their little sister can make after this week. MaKaylee is one of only 88 junior golfers who will compete in the inaugural Drive, Chip & Putt Championship finals on Sunday in Augusta, Ga.

So the eight-year-old from Yukon has that going for her, which is nice.

Her brother Colton, who plays golf at Southwest Christian University in Bethany, said the family is very proud of her.

MaKaylee, a third-grader at Parkland Elementary School, punched her finals ticket after winning her age division during regional qualifying in Carrollton, Texas in August. She placed in the top two of her age group in local qualifying in Plano, Texas last summer, and she was one of 17,000 junior golfers who had to win entry into the competition by random drawing because of massive interest.

Her father, Bob Cowan, who works for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, said the mood was jovial during local qualifying but got more intense at regionals.

“Some kids brought their golf coaches out there,” he said. “It was something serious.”

Founded in collaboration by the Masters Tournament Foundation, The PGA of America and the United States Golf Association, the Drive, Chip & Putt Championship is a free, nationwide junior skills competition open to boys and girls ages 7-15.

The Golf Channel will air live coverage of the finals Sunday, beginning with a one-hour pre-game show at 8 a.m.

In her regional victory, MaKaylee dominated her girls 7-9 age group in chipping and took second place in driving.

Nicknamed “Bird,” MaKaylee has played golf since she was 2. She would tag along with eldest brother Austin, who played golf at Piedmont and Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, and twin brothers Cameron and Colton, who were both four-year state qualifiers in Piedmont.

“They’d have to babysit her, so they’d take her to the golf course,” said her father, who gave up golf to support his children’s athletic efforts. “All she did was practice.”

With her pink golf bag, freckled cheeks and infectious smile, she has the confidence needed to bring home a championship trophy of her own.

“I’m going to win,” she said.

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