The Boy Who's on a Hunt for Tiger

The Journal (Newcastle, England), July 20, 2006 | Go to article overview

The Boy Who's on a Hunt for Tiger


Byline: By Tim Taylor Golf Correspondent

When Tiger Woods put his 2002 golf playstation game on the market, little did he realise he was stoking up a burning passion in a youngster whose ambition now is to beat him.

Jack Walling was two years old at the time and as soon as his dad, Karl, started striding along the visual fairways with Tiger, little Jack was hooked on the sport.

Now, three months past his sixth birthday, Jack has won through to next month's national finals of the HSBC Wee Wonders competition at St Andrews.

He has astounded seasoned golf pros who already have his game on video and say it's just like watching the historic TV footage of the Tiger in the days when the US superstar was no more than a cub.

Jack spends three or four hours a night three times a week practising hitting balls on a driving range, never losing a minute's concentration.

And at weekends the family drive from their home in Blaydon to the caravan they have bought near Slaley Hall ( just so they can be with Jack as goes out for a full day practising all the golf skills.

Dad Karl says now that he has replaced the set of clubs Jack had worn out, the youngster can hit the ball 150 yards.

When Jack won the Wee Wonders North Region final over a nine-hole course at Haigh Hall, Wigan, last weekend he took 13 shots for the first two holes because he was nervous, hitting his tee shot at the second hole into a canal.

But he proved he could he cope with pressure, coming home with an average of 4.5 shots per hole to win in an event where youngsters are given 36 shots to see how far they can get round a course.

Dad Karl, a forestry worker and mother Leanne, a care worker, are proud of Jack, a pupil at Blaydon West Primary School.

A ago, he was enrolled on the Slaley Hall Young Masters Golf programme and he also uses the nine-hole course at the academy run by Kenneth Ferrie's coach, John Harrison, at Matfen Hall. …

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