David Shefter - USGA.org
July 1, 2010
July 1, 2010
Scarsdale, N.Y. – Many of today’s elite junior golfers are a concoction of hubris and cool. The physical stereotypes are obvious; collar turned up, sunglasses covering the eyes, a confident gait.
And there’s the entourage replete with doting parents, a high-profile swing coach, sports psychologist, nutritionist, trainer and sometimes even hangers-on who claim to be “advisors.” Even the sound bytes appear rehearsed.
They might only be teens, but they’re already walking, talking and playing like grizzled PGA Tour stars.
Then there’s Cameron Wilson. The 17-year-old Rowayton, Conn., resident is one of the country’s best junior golfers. His resumé screams success: quarterfinalist at the 2009 U.S. Junior Amateur; round of 32 at the 2009 U.S. Amateur; youngest champion of the Met Amateur and the 2009 Metropolitan Golf Association Player of the Year, based on a year-long points list.
Yet you would never guess at the accomplishments by talking to the humble teen. He doesn’t offer a lot of glib. He won’t boast about past success nor does he worry about bloated expectations or rankings.
That’s just not in Wilson’s DNA.
“I never cared a whole lot about what other kids were thinking,” said Wilson at an MGA media event at Quaker Ridge Golf Club in April. “Whether people are looking at me or not, it’s not going to affect anything I do.”
As the 2010 U.S. Junior Amateur approaches at Egypt Valley Country Club in Ada, Mich., Wilson would have to be considered one of the favorites to hoist the championship trophy, along with defending champion Jordan Spieth and 2007 runner-up Anthony Paolucci. Last year at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., Wilson barely made the match-play cut, but advanced to the quarterfinals before losing to fellow left-hander Logan Harrell. He lost to another lefty (Phillip Mollica) in the round of 32 at the U.S. Amateur.
But Wilson, one of the few competitors entering college in the fall – he signed with Stanford last November and is eligible for the Junior because he doesn’t turn 18 until Nov. 2 – won’t cast himself in the favorite or underdog role.
Confident? Yes. Cocky? No way.
“As long as I play well, I should have a chance to win,” said Wilson.