DIAMONDHEAD, Miss. (WLOX) - For 10-year-old Karstyn Altese, golf is more than a game - it’s something that runs in the family.
“My dad and my grandpa are pros at Diamondhead and my sister plays as well,” Altese told WLOX. “So I just grew up around the course.”
Karstyn started playing golf about seven years ago when she was just three years old. And now, seven years later, she’s a few months away from the opportunity and experience of a lifetime and play at golf’s most hallowed grounds - Augusta National. The weekend before the Masters Tournament, Karstyn will compete in the Drive, Chip and Putt finals, a junior golf competition featuring some of the country’s greatest young talent.
“I’ve been trying to reach the finals for three years now and this year I finally made it,” she said. “I started to cry and wanted to scream when I found out I was going to Augusta. It still kind of feels like a dream, it hasn’t really hit me yet.”
The incredible reality hasn’t quite settled in with her family, either.
“I think we’re all still letting it sink in,” Karstyn’s mom Amy Altese told WLOX. “It really is amazing to think that she set out to achieve this goal and here it is. So, we’re all very excited to experience this with her.”
Even the greatest in the world let nerves overcome excitement before playing Augusta - but not Karstyn.
“I’m more excited than Nervous for Augusta, I’m just going to keep practicing,” she said.
Karstyn and the rest of the finalists will kick off Masters week on Sunday, April 5.