NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Getting to play in a golfing competition at Augusta is hard enough.
It’s even harder if you’re nine years old, and double tough when you’re dealing with a genetic disorder that severely limits what you can eat.
However, Portland’s Knox Mason isn’t letting that get in the way and is already on the way to some of his life goals.
“Augusta is one of them, and he hopes to make it to the PGA tour one day, and he’d love to meet his favorite golfer, Colin Morikawa,” Knox’s mother Rhonda Mason said.
“He’s really good at hitting irons, and I like TaylorMade; I like his haircut,” Knox said of Morikawa.
Next month, Knox will join 80 other boys and girls, ages seven to 15, in the drive, chip, and putt competition in Augusta, Georgia, designed to inspire the next generation of golfers.
As an elementary school student, Knox can drive the ball about 200 yards, but there is one challenge his body has been deadling with since he was a baby – phenylketonuria, or PKU.
“He was the only kid in the state of Tennessee born in 2013 that had it so every piece of food that’s ever been placed in his mouth had to be measured and weighed to a certain amount and intake that he can have in each day,” Knox’s father Chris Mason said.
“Vanderbilt’s been taking care of him since birth with blood draws, food records, dietician aid, doctors. One out of 70,000 kids get those rare genetic disorders,” Rhonda added.
Another challenge Knox faced – the final putt to get into the drive, chip and putt competition.
“Gusto was in Quail Hollow, North Carolina, where the PGA tour plays and Knox sank a 30-foot putt in the pouring rain to be able to get into the Masters, and his actual video was on the Golf Channel, so that was a really cool thing,” Chris said.
You’ll be able to watch Knox and his next really cool thing when the Drive, Chip, And Putt competition takes place Sunday, April 2 on the eve of the Masters tournament, airing live on the Golf Channel.