Local youth golfer Cameron wraps Kansas City Fall Tour on high-note

Tuesday, November 6, 2018
Emree “M&M” Cameron zeroes in on her approach shot, on hole No. 2 at Shadow Glen Golf Club.
Submitted photo

Eleven-year-old Nevada native Emree Cameron concluded the U.S. Kids Golf Kansas City Fall Tour with a bang.

Cameron, a Nevada Middle School sixth-grader, won the tour championship en route to “Player of the Year” accolades.

A five-time U.S. Kids Golf Player of the Year, and four-time U.S. Kids state champion, Cameron wrapped the fall tour Oct. 21 by firing a nine-hole 37 at Shadow Glen Golf Club in Olathe, Kansas. A tight course fraught with sand traps, water hazards, and thick tree-lines, Shadow Glen is considered the toughest course on the Kansas City Fall Tour. Cameron narrowly missed finishing under-par, carding a double-bogey on the final hole.

“It would have been nice to finish under par, but a win is a win,” said Cameron’s father and part-time caddie, Eric. “We take pride in training Emree to be a complete golfer, able to handle any type of adversity thrown at her. Her scores this fall weren’t the best we have seen. She caddie’s for herself in three-fourths of the tournaments. And the tournaments I was there (as her caddie), I would have her play different shots. She would play draws, fades, and knockdowns in tournament-play.”

Said Eric of Emree, a projected class of 2025 Nevada High School grad: “It’s about getting her prepared for college and not worrying about scores, but learning to flat-out play golf.”

Cameron dominated the local K.C. Fall Tour, competing in seven of eight events and winning six of them. The string of victories earned Cameron an automatic invitation to the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship, held next August at famed Pinehurst Golf Course (No. 5) in North Carolina.

Cameron’s recent run of success, including a 29-stroke win this past weekend at the Futures Junior Golf Tour Championship at Old Kinderhook Golf Course in Camdenton, was the 53rd victory of her junior golf career. The triumph also represented Cameron’s career-best 36-hole score, 158, achieved in cold and blustery conditions.

“My love for the game and hard work paid off this weekend,” said Emree, via her Facebook page.

“It is crazy to think that this December marks Emree’s four-year anniversary of competitive golf,” began Eric. “When she teed it up for the first time at Trump National Doral Golf Club (Florida), our goal for her was to just not finish last — and she finished 12th out of 15 7-year-old girls. Fifty-three wins later, goals have changed.”

“(Her) goals won’t be achieved easily,” said Eric, who is in his first season as the Cottey College head golf coach.

Emree Cameron's tee shot, on hole No. 4 at Shadow Glen.
Submitted photo

Between golf and basketball, Cameron partakes in a combined nine practices per week, with golf training taking place during the early morning hours.

Summed up Eric: “Kids need to know, if you want to be good at something show up for practice, do what coach asks you to do. Couple that with some talent, and you can be good. You want to be great at something, you have to practice twice as much as is required by your coach — twice as much as your competition. Sometimes, that is not even enough, but you can’t be afraid — afraid of failure, afraid of burning out. You only get one shot, better make it your best.”

Cameron will be facing a different type of competition in 2019.

“Because she currently carries an 8-handicap, she will be competing in official United States Golf Association (USGA) qualifiers and state amateurs,” explained Eric.

Fellow Nevadan

Nevada High School freshman Owen Swearingen also had major success on the U.S. Kids Golf Kansas City Fall Tour.

Swearingen, who will be making his prep-career debut next spring, finished third overall in the tour championship rankings, and runner-up in the “Player of the Year” standings.

Swearingen played in all eight of the scheduled U.S Kids Golf local tour events, winning the Sept. 8 competition at Paradise Pointe Golf Complex in Smithville.

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