Photography by Kevin A. Roberts
Maryland Heights athlete Momo Kikuchi, 15, has been playing golf since her father first took her to a driving range when she was 2. A few years later, her family moved from Japan to the U.S., and they joined a local golf course, where her dad took her every day. Nowadays, you might find her at The Quarry at Crystal Springs with her two brothers.
And on April 2, Momo will play at Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters, during the 2017 Drive, Chip & Putt Championship. One of 80 just qualifying junior golfers (ages 7–15), Kikuchi is the first finalist from St. Louis to compete at the nationwide youth tournament, the only one sponsored by all three major golf organizations (United States Golf Association, Professional Golfers’ Association, and The Masters Tournament).
So how's she preparing? “Nothing much has changed,” Momo says. With help from her dad and the golf pro at The Quarry at Crystal Springs, she practices after school and for about five hours on weekends, in addition to playing for her high-school golf team. She plans to play for years to come.