Dreaming of the Masters, with a bacon roll along the way

Connor McCrae

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His golf bag might be just about bigger than him, but don’t underestimate the ability of young Connor McCrae.

The golf-mad nine-year-old is fast rising through the ranks in the Stephen Gallacher Foundation series of junior golf events, in which he has been competing for just the last two months.

Earlier this month, Connor had his most successful day yet in a Gallacher event at Linlithgow, taking first place in the under-10 event with an outstanding one-under-par 35. His score, in fact, bettered those competing in the under-12 section from across Scotland.

With his latest, win Connor moves up the rankings, opening the door for him to play in strokeplay events.

Such is his level of skill that he plays with adult members at his home Tarbert Golf Club. All this after playing golf for just a year.

‘He was a natural as soon as he started,’ said club president and captain Kenny MacFarlane.

‘It was evident for everyone to see. He hits the ball so well and he’s a well-mannered boy too.’

Connor remains unfazed by it all. A man of few words, he prefers to do his talking on the course.

Asked what the best thing is about competing in golfing competitions around the country, he replied: ‘You get a bacon roll.’

Dad Calum, also a member at Tarbert, said: ‘He doesn’t say much, but he’s dedicated to his golf. He’s at his happiest when he’s playing golf.

Even football has been sidelined.

Calum explained: ‘He comes home from school, gets the golf gear on and gets out to practice, seven days a week. He’s obsessed by golf and he’s not being pushed by me or his mum.’

Now coached by David Orr in Newton Mearns, Glasgow, Connor is not a youngster who hits and hopes around a golf course. He thinks his way round, with a yardage book for every hole.

Kenny said: ‘It’s so refreshing to see Connor developing and it’s great for the club.’

The club captain is keen to see young golfers getting involved at Tarbert and junior lessons at the club have been a big success, with tutors Kenny himself, Calum McCrae and Craig Barrett guiding an exciting crop of enthuastic youngsters.

Connor, whose favourite players are Tiger Woods and Bob MacIntyre, plays his next Stephen Gallacher event at Glenbervie on May 30.

His ultimate dream, however, is to compete at the US Masters.

With his talent and dedication, it would seem a distinct possibility.

But will they serve bacon rolls at Augusta National?


Connor with a clutch of medals from his short golfing career. 51_a22ConnorMcCrae05

Hitting with style – a perfect drive. 51_a22ConnorMcCrae11

Connor’s yardage book – no hitting and hoping. 51_a22ConnorMcCrae12