- Jul 20, 2008
Cameron Peck - Olympia, WA
Evan Beck of Virginia Beach, VA
10 & 8 (36 holes)
Here's an article about Peck
Peck's practice fits him to a tee - Sports - The Olympian - Olympia, Washington
Peck's practice fits him to a tee
By Gail Wood | The Olympian • Published July 09, 2008
The fairways were white, covered with snow.
And Cameron Peck, the lone figure on the golf course that wintry day, pulled a driver out of his golf bag, determined to finish his practice round. It had been snowing for more than an hour.
This is the price of winning.
Peck, a senior-to-be at Timberline High School and one of the top-ranked junior golfers in the country, doesn't let weather dictate his practice schedule. He practices every day. He's a golfer with a mailman's motto.
"Practice is really important," Peck said. "If you don't practice you can't go out and compete against these kids from California where it's sunny every day. To be the best, you have to go out and work harder than everyone else."
If practice makes perfect, then Peck is a saint.
He was indeed saintly earlier this summer when he won the prestigious FootJoy Invitational, a four-day tournament in Greensboro, N.C., that draws the top junior golfers in the country. After the win, he was ranked seventh in the country.
Every college in the Pac-10 has contacted Peck about playing golf for them. He's received more than a hundred inquiries from schools across the nation.
"That's my goal. To play in college," Peck said. "I don't know where yet. I can't sign until October."
Playing golf in college wasn't Peck's objective at the beginning. Not when, as a 4-year-old, he tagged along behind his grandfather on the golf course, swinging his uncle's used clubs that had been cut down to his size.
Pretty soon, the talent was obvious. By the time Peck was 8, he played in his first golf tournament. He's been playing in national tournaments for the past two years and tied for fourth with teammate John Jordan at the Class 3A high school state tournament this spring.
"When he first started going out, his grandpa said Cameron was really good," said Jim Peck, Cameron's father. "Well, he's his grandpa. What else is he going to say? We didn't take him seriously."
It wasn't long before Jim noticed the talent. Cameron's shots off the tee were always straight. His form was perfect.
"He wasn't really long, but he was always straight," Jim said.
Cameron showed his golf swing to Tom Hinchman, a local golf instructor.
"Tom said he had a really good swing - 'He could be good some day. Just don't mess with him,' " Jim said. "He got a little off as he got older because he wanted to hit longer. So we took him to (golf instructor) Joe Thiel. He's kept him on path."
Early on, Cameron played football, basketball, baseball, soccer and golf. But by the time he reached high school, he realized he needed to specialize and focus on golf.
"I was OK at those other sports, and I was really good at golf," Cameron said. "I decided I just wanted to play golf."
Cameron's focus remains on the prize - college. He's not infatuated with the PGA Tour. He wants to get into the best college he can.
"That's been his goal," Jim Peck said. "People say, 'Oh, you can be a pro.' But his biggest goal is to play college golf. Whatever happens after that is gravy. Every kid dreams of playing on the PGA Tour, but he says he wants to get a college scholarship."
That's when Peck will find out if he's got the game.
"College golf is probably the best mini-tour out there," Jim Peck said.
"You're playing against the best young golfers out there. At the end of four years, you'll know if you have a chance to play in the PGA, and you'll have a good education."
It's been a two-way commitment between father and son. For Cameron, it has meant practicing. For Jim, it has meant backing him financially.
"We can afford to do this, and he loves to do it," Jim Peck said. "As long as he wants to do it, I'll take him."
Cameron's approach to golf is that it's like a job, not a hobby.
"Tiger (Woods) practices eight hours a day," Jim Peck said. "I know someone who practiced four hours a day. People work eight hours a day. To get better you have to be willing to practice more."
It's the price Cameron is willing to pay. Even when it snows.