William Harwood sets forth Saturday on another great adventure in golf, heading to San Diego to compete in the Callaway Junior World Championships, an international event that draws more the 1,200 competitors from 56 nations.
Excited? You bet.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” he said. “Playing in a tournament like this is something I will always remember.”
In San Diego, his 15-17 age group will compete July 15-18 over the famed Torrey Pines South course, and the list of champions includes a who’s who in Golf. Tiger Woods and Lorena Ochoa won multiple times, and Corey Pavin, Craig Stadler, Ernie Els, Amy Alcott and David Toms are familiar names among winners.
Harwood, who has attended Hammond School and will be a junior at Ben Lippen this fall, qualified for the Junior Worlds by winning the National Junior Golf Tour tourney In Lake Lure, N.C., a triumph he calls “the highlight of my life in golf so far.”
Golf always has been part of his life. The family home is adjacent to the Spring Valley Country Club course and, he said, “I’ve been playing every since I could pick up a club.”
He also played competitive tennis before focusing on golf and said, “Golf is like no other sport. It’s all about you and how you play. You can’t alter how your opponent plays.”
Harwood works with pro Fred Wadsworth, a former USC star and a winner on the PGA Tour, and said, “Without him, I would be nowhere near where I am in golf.”
Wadsworth emphasized the importance of the short game, and Harwood calls that the strength of his game.
Like all youngsters at his stage in development, he would like to succeed on the professional level. But he keeps expectations in perspective.
“Pro golf is my goal, but if that doesn’t work out, it’s not the end of the world,” he said. “The lessons you learn in golf play a large role in your life. You learn about ups and down and you learn that you don’t always win.”
The venture will be a return trip to San Diego, although he doesn’t recall the specifics.
“I guess I was about seven and my parents (Bill and Karen) took me para-gliding over the (Pacific) coast and Torrey Pines,” he said.
Nine years later, he will get to see the golf course from a different angle.
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