Saturday, February 26, 2011

Straight down the middle with freshman Cameron Wilson

This interview was posted on 
Feb 25, 2011:

STANFORD, Calif. - Cameron Wilson's favorite golfer is not who you think it is. As a left-hander, one would assume the first year player from Rowayton, Conn. might answer Phil Mickelson, or Bubba Watson or for you historians of the game, the classy New Zealander, Bob Charles. Wilson's going with Seve Ballesteros, the swash-buckling Spaniard whose shot making skills and ability to escape from trouble were second to none when he was atop of his game.

Wilson's shot-making skills has made him a regular fixture in Conrad Ray's lineup this season, as he has played in all five events to date, carding a stroke average of 72.8, which ranks third on the team behind Andrew Yun and David Chung. He has recorded two top 10 finishes in five events, placing fifth at The Prestige at PGA West and tying for ninth at the Gifford Intercollegiate.

The ambidextrous Wilson advanced to the second round of match play at the 2009 U.S. Amateur and was named the 2009 Metropolitan Golf Association Player of the Year, becoming the youngest recipient in the history of the award.
He also excelled in another sport in high school in addition to golf - squash. And if you want to know he capital of Zimbabwe, Kazakhstan or the location of the Eastern Ghats mountain range, ask Cameron. recently caught up with Stanford's left-hander to discuss his transition to college life, his passion for soccer and his encyclopedic geographical knowledge.

Home course?
Shorehaven GC, East Norwalk, CT.

Favorite course you have played?
Friars Head, Long Island NY.

Course you would most like to play?
Augusta National.
Favorite golfer?
Seve Ballesteros.

Your dream golf getaway package?
Scotland, all the great links courses.

One swing thought you are always trying to remember?
Always complete my shoulder turn.

Best advice you can give a recreational golfer?
Work on your short game!

Favorite practice drill?
I love to hit balls at the telephone pole on our facility.

Favorite major championship to watch?
The British Open.

Earliest memories of playing golf?
I remember chipping/putting with my dad until it was dark. I was probably 3-4 at the time.

What's your most memorable round?
When I first broke 100, I was eight at the time.

What's your most memorable shot?
I was playing Andrew Yun in the US Junior Amateur back in 2008, and I was down three or four holes by the par 5 sixth hole. After hooking my drive into the trees, I hit a punch three iron around the trees, over/around a water hazard, and it rolled from 20 yards short of the green to about five feet.

Toughest hole at Stanford Golf Course and the key to playing it?
The third, you can't go left! But right is usually a tough par as well.

Best hole at Stanford Golf Course?
Number two, you must hit two good shots to have a birdie putt.

Longest hitter on the team?
Steven Kearney, mostly because his biceps are so big.

Who is the last guy on the team who want to face in a putting contest?
Andrew Yun.

Favorite ball mark?
It just has to be big enough to see.

Favorite club in your bag?
I like them all, can't play favorites.

Your dream foursome?
Myself, Seve Ballesteros, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods.

One thing you are constantly working on to improve as a player?
I'm always thinking about my putting.

Why did you decide to come to Stanford?
It is the ideal blend of golf and academics, not to mention the awesome campus, people, and weather.

Tell us about your introduction to French cheese at Isleworth?
Coach Rowe had some French friends that were in Orlando to see Disneyworld. They came and watched us, bringing along some wheels of cheese. Coach Rowe then put the cheese in our van before our round started...that van still reeks.

Tell us about your IHUM course taught by Tobias Wolf?
It was called "Journeys." We read and discussed books in which someone goes through a transformation. He gave some pretty intense lectures.

Funniest guy on the team?
Sihwan is always laughing about something.

Favorite Conrad Ray saying?
Too many to list...most common is "lipstick on a pig."

Is it true you have the biggest sweet tooth on the team?
It's pretty close between myself and Coach Ray.

Favorite spot on campus?
Apart from the Siebel Center, I would say the Oval.

Your most difficult challenge your freshman year?
Sleep! Also working on the road can be tough. Last trip I had to write a paper on the plane.

Tell is about your interest in squash?
I played for my high school team, and a bit in middle school. It was a great way to stay active in the winter and I enjoyed the chance to take a break from golf. Most of my peers played golf all year.

What are some of your interests other than sports?
I enjoy watching soccer a lot. I'm also I'm a big fan of Monty Python movies and shows. I played soccer growing up until high school. I would've loved to keep playing but golf became my main focus. When I was little I liked Man United because my British cousins brainwashed me. Then I realized that liking Man U was similar to liking the Yankees, so now I root against the big teams (Chelsea, Utd, Arsenal, Madrid...) But my favorite player is still a guy on Man U. named Paul Scholes.

Do you have any superstitions?
I already have enough to worry about!

Hidden talents?
I know a lot of obscure geographical knowledge. I guess I've always been good with maps, plus I took a geography course this fall and I still remember a lot of the countries/capitals.

Favorite movie?
Local Hero, a Scottish comedy from the 80's.

What's on your IPOD?
U2, Dire Straits, and a lot of the Beatles. Only a few dozen newer songs.

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