Chipping Like a Champion

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Celano,Ryan-1st (2)

After Wednesday’s second round of the Under Armour®/Steve Marino Junior All-Star Championship, PGA TOUR professional Steve Marino showcased his skills in a clinic that was put on for the juniors.

Marino also answered questions from juniors and parents about his career, his new fitness routine and how he doesn’t freak out when he’s playing well. He even brought up a game he likes to play.

“I mentioned something during the clinic about how I practice my chipping and that I enjoy playing 21 with my friends,” said Marino, who earned Rolex Junior All-America honors in 1997.

After the clinic, Ryan Celano of Naples, Fla., challenged Marino in a friendly competition.

In the game 21, players take turns chipping two balls, and whoever is closer to the hole earns one point for each ball closer than his or her opponent, and if a player makes a shot they earn five points.

“I was just letting him get his confidence up,” Celano said jokingly. “He’s got to have confidence going into the PGA, and he doesn’t need to be beaten by a kid.”

Perhaps it wasn’t Marino that needed the boost of confidence, but Celano instead. Celano was in a three-way tie for the lead going into Thursday’s final round, but eventually broke away and came out on top.

“I birdied two of the last three holes with Steve watching,” Celano said. “I impressed him.”

Marino was indeed impressed, especially on No. 18 when Celano set up a birdie putt after hitting out of a fairway bunker.

“I don’t know if I want a piece of him anytime soon,” Marino said. “His confidence is so high now that he might take me down in that 21 chipping match.”

Written by Tim Wing, AJGA Communications

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