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Cameron aiming to rise among the Elite after excellence from the tee
OVER on the links at Seaton Carew, a teenage golfer has more than his country calling after a sensational 18 months on the tee.
Hartlepool-born Cameron Wallace has slashed his handicap from 22 since the start of 2012 to just four and he has just received a letter confirming England recognition, all by the age of 14.
After the year he has had it is little wonder he has caught the eye at international level – and he has high hopes the progress and development is only set to continue.
Not only was Wallace crowned Durham County Boys Under-14 champion in May with a gross 76, he also earned an impressive top ten finish in the Under-16s equivalent when he returned to Dinsdale Spa with a 78 shortly after.
To enhance his rapidly rising reputation, in his first two outings on the Lee Westwood Tour he claimed maximum points on the Order of Merit by winning at Rockliffe Hall and Close House before this week's final round at Ramside Hall.
“It's been going well and I have got my handicap to where I wanted by the end of this year, which is to a single figure,” said Wallace, whose birthday was in June. “Now I want to get down to scratch by the time I'm 15. That's the aim.”
He is a schoolboy with his targets already mapped out, which is why he has made an exciting switch over to join the innovative and newly-established Elite Development Squad at Hartlepool's Dyke House Sports & Technology College to continue his education alongside the sport he excels in.
“The scholarship should be fantastic for Cameron,” said his father, Richie, 47. “It means he will have the funding and support in place that will help us to get him to more tournaments, competitions and he has the right equipment.
“He has the ability, we are not pushing him, he just wants to play golf and he never wants to get beat. Every night he wants to go and spend hours doing this or that with his swing or whatever.”
As part of the scholarship he will be heading out for a five-night trip to Torremolinos in Spain in October when he will take part in personalised strength and conditioning in the mornings and golf on an afternoon to aid his progress. Wallace, who claims his decent grasp of “maths and science” helps him work out his yardage and undulations on the greens, has already caught the eye of England selectors and is due next month for a training get together.
“It won't bother me, I don't think I will be nervous,” said Wallace, who has already won 23 junior events and represented the county at junior level on three occasions.
“Whenever I go out in a competition I always believe I am the best out there and that I can win. That's what I'm like and nothing gets to me when I play golf.”
If he can end this season by impressing on the international scene, he will feel ideally shaped going in to 2014 when he is already dreaming of incredible highs.
“Next summer the Brabazon Trophy will be held at Seaton Carew and I'd love to play in that,” said Wallace, who shot a two-under gross on Seaton's Brabazon Course earlier this summer in a men's competition.
“It will be hard, it's one of the biggest amateur competitions there is, but if I can keep going the way I am then hopefully I can get my handicap down to a place where I could qualify.
“Another big thing for me next year is to try to win the club championship at Seaton and to get myself down to scratch. I'd love to turn professional in a few years.”
Wallace, whose favourite golfer is Open champion Phil Mickelson, spends five-hours every day working on his game and such hard work and dedication has seen him earn such fantastic results this year.
“I have also been going over to see Wynyard's Andrew Nicholson since I was picked for Durham County coaching last year,” said Wallace. “What he has done for my game has been brilliant.
“Up until my lessons with Andrew, I basically taught myself to play, along with my dad, who plays off 16, and was the Third Division club champion at Seaton this year.
“We used to go carp fishing together and then one day we decided to give golf a go and we have played ever since. I don't even know why. I love it.
“I used to hate it, I used to poke fun at my friends for playing golf. Now they all make fun of me for playing golf because they say golf is an easy sport.”
At the rate Wallace has developed, maybe it is … for him!
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