By By Dean Bibens

09/20/2020 08:29 p.m. EST • Last Updated 09/20/2020 10:42 p.m.

He’s only 13 years old, but Guilford resident Andrew Beauton is making major strides on the national level as a golfer. Andrew, an 8th-grade student at Adams Middle School, has qualified to compete at the Notah Begay III Junior National Golf Championship in Louisiana in November by virtue of his performance at the Eastern Regional Qualifier in New Jersey last month.

Andrew first picked up a golf club when he was five years old. Andrew has never taken an official lesson, but he’s received plenty of advice from his best friend and father Gerald Beauton, who is also Andrew’s caddie.

“I’ve been playing for about eight years. I watched it on TV with my dad, and he got me my first set of clubs,” said Andrew, a right-handed golfer. “Ever since then, the game has just grown on me, and I spend pretty much every day playing.”

Andrew secured the No. 1 spot when he competed at the Eastern Regional Qualifier at the Seaview Bay Golf Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey on Aug. 16. Andrew shot a five-over par for the two-day tournament, finishing at even par in the final round. Andrew was two strokes better than the closest player to him in the pack.

“I had a lot of fun in that tournament. I got into a really good groove there in the second round and really enjoyed playing,” Andrew said. “You just have to take a breath when you’re struggling a little bit, because golf is a game of ups and downs. I think Ben Hogan said, ‘Your next shot is always the most important.’ You have to forget about the bad holes and just move forward.”

With his win at the Eastern Regional meet, Andrew qualified for the Junior National Championship that will be played at Koasati Pines at Coushatta in Kinder, Louisiana. The national finals are taking place from Sunday, Nov. 15 to Tuesday, Nov. 17 and will then be televised by The Golf Channel on Wednesday, Dec. 9.

“I just want to go down there and give it my best effort,” said Andrew. “I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself, so I’m just going to have fun.”

Even though he’s only 13, Andrew has a résumé that goes beyond what most high school golfers have accomplished. Andrew plays on the Connecticut Junior PGA Tour and already has several tournament victories under his belt.

“At my club, Pine Orchard [in Branford], I’ve won four tournaments. And I’ve also won two tournaments at New Haven Country Club,” Andrew said. “My next step is going to be playing in high school, which I’m really looking forward to. I haven’t spoken to the coach yet, but I really am excited at taking a step up.”

Andrew said that the game of golf has taught him a lot about the importance of patience and concentration. He added that playing the sport has also taught him to never give up.

“It’s really a calming game for me, and I’ve had my bad days on the course. We all do, but it’s about regaining your focus and never giving up,” said Andrew. “I never let the game get to be too much.”

Andrew follows the PGA Tour and his favorite professional golfer is Dustin Johnson, who is one of the top-ranked players in the world. Johnson has 23 career PGA victories to his credit, including a first-place finish at the 2016 U.S. Open.

“DJ is amazing, because he hits the ball so far and with great accuracy,” Andrew said. “I remember watching him when I was even younger, and it’s awesome to see how much better he has gotten over the years.”

Andrew hopes to play on the PGA Tour himself one day and practices every chance that he gets. Andrew spends a lot of time working on his stroke at the driving range, in addition to playing rounds of 18 as much as possible. Along the way Andrew gets plenty of support from both his father and his mother Louise DiCocco-Beauton.

“That’s the dream, and it wouldn’t be possible without my parents,” said Andrew of playing professionally. “They have been there with me the whole way. My mom always comes to my matches, and my dad is right there with me as my caddie, which is awesome.”

Aside from golf, Andrew plays basketball and is an honors student at Adams Middle School. His favorite subjects are social studies and science. While he enjoys shooting hoops, golf is Andrew’s primary passion, and that’s the sport he plans on playing well into the future.

“I don’t see myself playing basketball in high school, because I just want to focus on golf,” Andrew said. “All of my time is going to golf. I love this game so much, and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next for me.”

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