Northern Ontario tyke takes international golfing title
SUDBURY -- French River toddler Jack Cantin may love golf but he's already got the game loving him and his swing.
Cantin recently took first place for his age division in the "Little Linksters Best Peewee Swing Contest," where his form at the tee was judged by greats with names like Sorenstam, Spieth and Nicklaus.
"It got started with Jack really loving golf and we would sit and watch some Sunday morning European Tour and ever since he was about a week old, he grew up watching it on TV. We gave him his first golf club and he just ran with it," said his dad, Eric.
It's a hobby the two share, even though the younger Cantin is still learning words and hasn't begun yet to tie his own shoes.
"He showed some early signs of some good swings and we just encouraged him to do it," said Eric.
"A typical morning routine would be pretty much getting him out of his crib and him asking for his wedge so running into the living room and grabbing his wedge and hitting these foam balls that we have until I pretty much have to drag him to breakfast," said mom, Maxime Valliant.
While Jack is still learning words and how to talk, he's already managed some of the basics at the club including phrases like "I love golf" and "Tiger Woods."
After the odd long drive, he's also been known to give it a "Tiger fist pump" or two.
Eric has been watching the Little Linksters contest since even before Jack was born. He submitted the video of Jack's swing on a whim and was thrilled to see the golf greats vote for his son.
The two-year-old managed to beat out other kids from Australia, Texas, Florida and other parts of the world.
"We got some really good compliments too from some of the people who run this thing saying Jack's swing is maybe the best thing they've seen in the 10 years of running this competition, which is a huge compliment and kinda fun," beamed Dad.
According to his parents, they've tried to share technique with their son as best as possible. He's most proud of his backswing. One of his favourite parts of the golf course is hitting the ball out of the bunker.
Idylwylde Golf and Country Club pro Dave Bower got the chance to see Jack for the first time last week and was blown away by what he witnessed.
"When his dad told me about it last week and showed me the video I said he's probably going to win that contest, I mean to swing at that level again at two-years-old ... I've never seen it before," said Bower.
The younger Cantin now has a new set of golf clubs, which Idylwylde cut down to his size and he's ready to take the links by storm.
He may be little, but he's full of personality and will be hard for the older, larger golfers to miss him on the fairway.