Swinging into action

Young golfers prove it’s never
too early to pick up the clubs
Wednesday, July 28, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 10:45 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

For someone who finished with a total more than seven times his age, Zachary Cook can golf.

Zachary, 8, shot a 57 for nine holes in the Coca-Cola Junior Championship golf tournament Tuesday morning at L.A. Nickell golf course in his first tournament. His is third in the boys’ 8-10 division.

The tournament finishes today at A.L. Gustin with players 12 and younger playing nine holes and all others playing 18. Tee times begin at 8 a.m.

Zachary, of Columbia, began playing golf about three years ago after he grew restless watching.

“My mom and dad play and I wanted to start,” Zachary said.  “I was getting bored staying on the cart.”

Zachary said he wants to work on his putting and chipping because he is having a hard time getting the ball into the cup.

He goes into today’s round with some reservations.

“I’m scared,” Zachary said. “I don’t want to shoot 100 and something, I want to shoot below 100.”

Zachary wasn’t the only competitor who received inspiration to begin playing golf from a family member.

Jake Abbott, 10, of Fulton, said his brother, Blake, takes him out a lot.

Jake said Blake, 17, is hard on him but it helps him learn.

Blake said he gives him advice but it is not always accepted.

“I try to help him out when he wants to listen to me,” Blake said. “He tries. He gets mad when I try to tell him what to do.”

Drew Wier, of Columbia, heads into today’s round leading the boys’ 15-17 division with a 69 and is confident he can keep the lead.

“It’s my home course, and I usually play pretty well,” Wier said.

Wier said he is going to try not to focus on having the lead.

“I’m going to try and go out there and shoot as well as I can,” Wier said.

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