Chula Vista golfer finds success on course at early age

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CHULA VISTA, Calif. -- A young golfer from Chula Vista continues to perfect his game, one tournament at a time.

It's not uncommon for eight-year-old Connor Szczechowicz to catch people's attention on the golf course.

"My dad just took me on the course one day and I loved it and I started playing more and more and more," Connor said.

In the last four years, the third grader has competed in more than 300 tournaments, collecting a number of trophies and Top 5 finishes. He placed second at the US Kids European Championship in Scotland this year and won the California State Championship in June, beating out teenagers with a final round of even par.

"It's super fun and you can shoot a better score each day and for me, it was really fun because I was doing really good," Connor said.

"He loves to compete so there's another intangible that some kids just don't have it," said golf coach Phil Schmidt. "He loves to get in there and mix it up with the other players. He loves taking on the big kids, the high school kids, the college kids."

Golf tends to be a game of patience and Connor seems to have a lot of it. He says he spends four to five days a week practicing and competes almost every weekend.

"I think that Connor's gift is the ability to absorb and then adapt and he rarely makes the same mistake twice, so that's key," Schmidt said.

"We just work on the specifics and then we just go out on the course," Connor said.

The Chula Vista resident says his favorite golfer is Rickie Fowler and hopes someday he can turn professional.

"It'd be a really good feeling," Connor said.

"Very rare that you see these traits at a young age so if he can stick with it, I can see him going. The sky is the limit," Schmidt said.

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