CESSNOCK golf prodigy Jesse Linden is headed to the most famous golf tournament in the world, the US Masters.
Linden is the first international player to secure a spot in the PGA of America Drive, Chip and Putt national final, which is being held at the famed Augusta National Golf Club as part of the Masters tournament.
The 12-year-old, who plays off five, won a regional qualifier in Houston, Texas, on Monday (AEST).
Australian great and 1995 US PGA champion Steve Elkington presented Linden with his winner's medal.
The St Philip's Christian College year six student will get to rub shoulders with the likes of Adam Scott, Min Woo Lee, Jason Day and Cam Smith in Augusta next April.
The Drive, Chip and Putt attracts the best young players in the US.
Players hit three drives, three chips and three putts and points are awarded for distance and accuracy.
Linden had to get through two earlier stages in Texas, played in July, before the regional final at the Champions Golf Club.
The pint-sized right-hander won all three disciplines in the 12-13 years age group.
"His driving really stood out. He averaged around 260 to 270 yards straight down the middle," Linden's father Clint said. "We had a flight cancellation and it took us 42 hours to get to Houston, arriving on Saturday morning.
"As the final contestants' scores were put on the leaderboard and he knew he had done it, he turned to me and Steve Elkington and his face lit up with the biggest smile. As he walked towards us he gave a Tiger Woods-style fist bump gave both Steve and myself the biggest high five, which actually hurt my hand, followed by a long, big hug.
"I could feel his relief that he got the job done after so much build up and hope in getting there.
"He got to spend time with Steve Elkington. When Steve was told there was an Australian playing, he made the effort to watch him play and support him and then was asked to present the awards."
Linden started playing golf at age two. His family home is on The Vintage golf course at Rothbury and features a putting green and simulator.
He had competed in the Drive, Chip and Putt for the past four years, making it through to the regional finals in 2019.
"Jesse is the first International player to make it through to the national finals which will be televised live on The Golf Channel," Clint said. "He was asked by the Golf Channel shortly afterwards, who was interviewing him, what is his greatest golfing moment. He looked at them and said 'this moment right here now is pretty hard to beat'."
Before jetting out to the US, Linden won the NSW Primary school Championship at the Catalina Country Club.
He fired rounds of 73,81 to win by 10 strokes and will lead NSW's charge at the national titles in Perth in November.
Next week, Linden will take on Australia's best in the Jack Newton International Junior Classic at Rydges Hunter, starting Tuesday.