Budding star swings on to world stage

A YOUNG golfer from St Ives has booked a dream trip to the 2008 World Championships in America after hitting a hole in one at last weekend s HSBC Wee Wonders Grand Final. Ten-year-old Nathan Jackson enjoyed a memorable bank holiday weekend at St Andrews w

A YOUNG golfer from St Ives has booked a dream trip to the 2008 World Championships in America after hitting a hole in one at last weekend's HSBC Wee Wonders Grand Final.

Ten-year-old Nathan Jackson enjoyed a memorable bank holiday weekend at St Andrews when he chipped in from 106 yards with an eight iron.

Unfortunately for Nathan that was during the practice round but he did record scores of 35 and 34 on the challenging par 3 links course, catching the eye of seven-time Ryder Cup star Colin Montgomerie in the process.

"One of these 72 kids here will be, I am sure, not just a champion but a major champion and maybe that could be Nathan," said Montgomerie.


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"He played fantastically well and I'm sure his family will be very proud of him. It is a tough course with swirling winds but the kids demonstrated maturity beyond their years to master the conditions.

"Playing at St Andrews is an once-in-a-lifetime experience but I am sure we will be seeing more of Nathan in years to come.

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"This Wee Wonders was not around when I was growing up. You had to fight against golf clubs but now that has all changed and youth is encouraged because this is where the future lies."

Nathan, who goes to St Anne's School in Godmanchester, was one of 72 qualifiers for St Andrews after successfully navigating through a regional event at Aldwickbury Golf Club back in June.

And father Simon Jackson is keeping his fingers crossed Nathan's HSBC Wee Wonders Grand Final appearance at Pinehurst, South Carolina, could be the start of something special in the years to come.

"He got a hole in one in the practice round, which is something special," he said. "It was on the ninth hole so it was in front of a big crowd.

"I have been playing golf for 24 years and never managed one. That was the highlight but the whole experience has been fantastic.

"He has really enjoyed it and it has been a great experience for him. He plays so well that you forget he is only ten years old.

"It is the biggest tournament he has ever played in but he will be back practicing the next day.

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