By Pat Payton
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – It’s one of those experiences that few Junior-age golfers ever get.
This weekend, Sam Watt, of St. Marys, will play here at the prestigious PGA National Resort and Spa in an International Junior Optimists’ golf tournament for boys 16 to 18.
The 16-year-old Watt qualified last year after shooting an 81 in the Midwestern Optimist District Junior golf championship. The qualifier is held every July at St. Marys Golf and Country Club.
Watt will be in Florida from July 27 to Aug. 1. He will play two rounds, and possibly three. His older brother Mitch, 18, qualified and competed in the same International Optimists tournament two years ago at the PGA National Resort.
This year, Sam Watt is sponsored by the Downie Optimists and the Midwestern Optimists.
“I’m going for the experience,” he told the Independent last week. “It’s a pretty prestigious tournament. Tiger Woods won it when he was a teenager.
“You get to meet people from all over the world, and to play a course like the PGA National is pretty special,” he added.
Sam Watt was one of 21 golfers who competed in the 2018 Midwestern Optimist Junior golf championship last Monday, July 16 at St. Marys G&CC. He shot an 87.
The day’s best score was posted by Patrick Holloway, of Stratford. He fired a 79 in the boys 14-15 division. In the same division, Tyler May, of Fergus, carded an 81.
In the boys 16-18 division, Riley Mathieson, of Stratford, shot an 80, and Jacob Rauser, of Mitchell, had an 84.