Seven-year-old Harry Preece, who has Wauchope roots, is aiming to get back to his new favourite course in Las Vegas next year – and go a step further in the US – after claiming the World Stars of Junior Golf tournament.
The Greta boy – whose father, Justin is from Wauchope and whose grandparents still live here – last month won the 5-6 years’ division of the tournament at Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort by six shots.
He then finished second in the seven years and under section at the American Athletic Union Olympic Games event at the Legends Golf Club in Temecula, California.
Harry, who has turned seven since returning home, and his father, Justin, were already planning their second US adventure after the 16-day trip. To Harry’s delight, it also included a visit to Disneyland.
“He absolutely loved it,” Justin said.
He absolutely loved it. He keeps saying he wants to go back to Vegas now. It’s his favourite golf course.Justin Preece
“He keeps saying he wants to go back to Vegas now. It’s his favourite golf course.”
Harry’s grandparents, Shane and Josie Preece who live in Wauchope are thrilled at their grandson’s success.
“We are so proud of him,” said Josie.
“We love seeing him when he comes back to Wauchope for holidays.”
Harry shot seven-over 43 and trailed by two strokes after a wind-hit first nine holes at Las Vegas but turned it around on day two with 38 to lead by six.
He finished with a 37 to win from Sydneysider Jesse Linden.
It was the first time Harry had beaten Jesse, who has become a regular opponent and friend.
Harry then had rounds of 46, 45 and 48 on the longer and tougher Legends course.
While the Preeces are keen to return to Las Vegas, they are hoping to qualify for the more prestigious IMG Academy Junior and US Kids Golf world championships events in America next year.
A local tour win or a top-five finish at January’s Australian Open at Riverside Oaks in Sydney will secure a US Kids Golf world title shot.
He is also likely to compete that month at the proposed Asia Pacific age championships on the Gold Coast.
Justin was hoping for a less hectic US trip next year.
”He didn’t play quite as well there but by then I think he was golfed out,” he said of the Temecula event.
“He had 10 rounds in 13 days by the end of the trip and by that stage I think he was starting to get a bit weary.
“Looking back, we realise that next year when we go back we’ll definitely go to the Vegas event again, but we’ll skip the Olympics.
“It's just too much in a short period,” added Justin.