Connor Munro placed 25th nationally this year as a Canadian junior golfer.
At the age of nine, that made Connor the youngest player in this year’s Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour.
Connor finished 7th in Ontario, won two bronze medals, three Golftown Comeback awards and a host of sponsorship prizes for various skills competitions.
Connor is a long-ball hitter and has won many skills competitions for his long drives.
“It felt really, really good. I can average out almost 200 yards with my driver,” Connor, now 10, explained of his national and provincial standings. “I’ve got a natural swing.”
Connor picked up the game after watching it on TV, and asking for a set of clubs as his Grade 3 graduation gift.
The golf prodigy credited his coach, Bradlee Ryall of the Braeben Golf Academy, and “lots of practice” with his success. Ryall is a Class “A” CPGA (Canadian Professional Golf Association) member.
Next season, Connor said his goal is to crack the top 5 in Ontario and the top 15 in Canada.
The future professional golfer and possible marine biologist had this advice for peers who want to rise to the top of their game: “Practice hard, stay focused, have fun.”
In May, Connor played against players four years his senior at Rebel Creek Golf Club near Kitchener, Ont. The Grade 5 Kingsway College School student finished the two-day tournament and went on to play many others throughout the summer.
“Connor had an incredible season,” said his father, Alec. “It’s his first year playing competitive golf. He’s only been playing with a coach since last August. He’s a natural. For a little guy, he can hit the ball far. His coach here and in Florida felt he should play this year on the national tour.
“The learning curve for Connor is higher since he’s always the underdog,” said his dad. “He was the youngest player in Canada (on the tour).”
Connor’s dad plays golf, but acknowledged he’s good if he breaks 100 when he’s out on the links with his friends.
“I played Connor on my birthday. He gave me 20 mulligans,” his dad said of the replay of previous strokes without penalty. “He still beat me by 14 shots.”
U.S. scouts already have their eyes on him. Spectators regularly ask him for an autographed ball.
Connor is also coached at the IMG David Leadbetter Golf Academy in Bradenton, Fla. one month a year.
“It’s an exciting time for us. We’re very proud of him,” Munro said of he and his wife, Lisa.