Golfer, 9, 'a different breed' on the course
AWENDAW, S.C. (WCIV) -- Rickey Sullivan, the pro at Bulls Bay, has trained everyone from PGA pros to young golfers just starting their careers.
At 9 years old, Waymon Thomas is certainly a member of the latter group, but according to Sullivan that won't be the case in a few years. He may be the best 9-year-old golfer in South Carolina.
Thomas still has a ways to go on the golf course. He can't even drive the cart. But the important things are already a part of his normal routine.
"He's a different breed when it comes to golf. You get him away from here he's a 9 year old. You put a golf club in his hand and it just clicks. He turns on," said Sullivan.
And the young golfer has the hardware to prove it.
"I've won about seven tournaments in a row and about 20 tournaments in my whole life," Thomas said.
Thomas holds the PeeWee Junior record for the Palmetto State. First, he set the 9-hole mark at 31. Then a week later, he set the 18-hole mark, shooting a 61.
"It's impressive. There's been a lot of good golfers come through South Carolina. The Lucas Glovers of the world, the DJ Trahan, the Bill Hasses. Go down the list, the Jordan Birches, all the guys we follow, the Ben Martins, the new guys out now. For this guy to have that record, there have been a lot of good players come through this state," Sullivan said.
Even though Thomas plays on the shorter tees, Sullivan says at just 9 years old, he's already playing well above most players' heads. Most middle-aged hacks wouldn't stand a chance against Thomas.
"He's not driving the greens. He hits Par 5s in two; he has to make the puts. He has to chip and putt. Who can shoot 61? I don't think I could shoot 61 from 5,000 yards," Sullivan said.
Thomas, who will start fourth grade in the fall with plenty still to learn about the finesse of the green, still sounds like a seasoned pro when he talks about the game he loves.
"I get nervous, I get butterflies, but I just try to play my game. I'm out there to win," Thomas said.
And to think, Thomas' prowess on a Par 4 could have never happened if he had taken off with another sport.
"I tried wrestling and all that other stuff. I didn't like it. I got hurt during wrestling so my dad suggested golf, and I just stuck along with it. Just started hitting balls," he said.
Hitting balls and hurting the competition's chances, the way only a 9-year-old golfer with a golden swing could.