ST. GEORGE – Trey Amico is like just about every other 5-year-old boy — friendly, playful and sweet. But Trey’s got a prodigy-like ability that has people taking notice at the IMG Academy Junior World Championships at the Colina Golf Club in California.
Trey, who is the grandson of PGA pro Jay Don Blake, became the youngest player to ever qualify (at 5-years, 2 1/2 months) for the championships. In doing so, via a second place finish at regionals in Las Vegas, Trey broke Tiger Woods’ record. Trey’s dad, Patrick, and mom, Jennifer, have helped Trey all the way.
As has Grandpa Blake, who was a surprise caddy for Trey earlier this year.
Trey shot a 73 Tuesday, very near the goal of 72 set by he and his father before the first round of the three-day tournament. Par is 54 on the shortened course.
“Goal for the week: have as much fun as we can and make the best memories,” Patrick said. “Round 1 is in the books and I’m one proud dad. We just missed our goal of 72. It was pretty amazing to have our family follow us and a few media members. After the round, to my surprise, they came to Trey and I for an interview. They were all amazed that a kid that just turned 5 qualified and played in the tournament.”
The golfers in Trey’s group, all 6-and-under, come from all over the world. The Round 1 leader is Yuma Nemoto from Japan, with other top 10 finishers hailing from China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand and Mexico as well as the United States. Trey is currently in 29th place, with another Utahn, Ryder Huish from Salt Lake City, in 34th place.
Trey was the feature of an article written for the San Diego Union Tribune newspaper.
Trey, who loves playing basketball and following the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels, also practices karate. But his love of golf may trump them all. Even after Tuesday’s first round, he couldn’t wait to go practice his putting on the Colina practice hole.
Dad Patrick Amico, a local coach and broadcaster, and mom Jennifer Amico, who is a marketing rep for St. George News, said it wasn’t just about golf either but about an incredible life experience.
“One of the best moments of today came from the 15 minutes these kids were playing on the putting green inside the golfsmith shop here in San Diego,” Jennifer wrote on her Facebook wall. “These two boys, one 6 and one 3, from China had a putting contest with Trey and (the Amicos’ 4-year-old) Landon. They didn’t speak the same language, but they played together. They high-fived. They laughed. They competed. They had fun.”
The Junior World Championships continue through Friday and have two more rounds. Results are posted on the IMG website.
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