Caddyshack kid gets shot

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:09 AM ET

Last year, Brett Wilson was part of the Glencoe Invitational playoff.

However, it wasn't him on the links hitting tee shots, sticking approach shots and knocking down the putts.

He was caddying for runner-up Brad Iles of New Zealand. Co-incidentally, on the bag of winner Brenden Stuart, also of New Zealand, was Wilson's father, George.

"Yeah, he caddied the back nine for one day. The back nine on the final round," Wilson said while his father was within earshot. "That doesn't compare.

"I spent three days slugging it out."

This year, though, the younger Wilson -- an 18-year-old about to graduate from Western Canada high school -- has a shot to be actually doing the fun stuff when the prestigious amateur event takes place Friday and Saturday at the Glencoe Club.

"Just watching him, I learned so much," Wilson said of carrying Iles' bag a year ago. "That's what I'm here to do, learn, not necessarily to win it.

"I think my attitude going into the tournament is what's going to help me."

More than 60 top amateur golfers from across Canada, the U.S., Mexico and New Zealand will converge on the Glencoe's Meadows course. Recent torrential downpours scuttled plans to hold the event on the more difficult Forest track.

The plan is for the competitors to play 36 holes Friday before an 18-hole final round Saturday.

As always, the tournament will feature a highly skilled amateur cast including Stuart and Iles, Calgary standouts James Love, Ryan Yip and David Schultz, and other big names such as 2004 Canadian amateur low qualifier Graham DeLaet.

Even though the tourney will be slightly delayed and a little water logged, it won't take away the fun for Wilson, whose family has billeted the Kiwi crew the last few years.

"I've been around it so long, so qualifying is a dream come true," said the teen who plays to a 1.9 index. "Having those players right at my house, I was so jealous and envious. I've really wanted to be part of this tournament, so I caddied."

His spot this year wasn't a freebie, either.

Wilson earned one of the three spots in the tournament available to members, with a 79 in horrible wind and rain -- conditions everyone in these parts has seen all too much of in recent weeks.

"I was really just going to go home after," said Wilson, who was part of the first group to go out that day. "But then the next group came in and the best score was an 85, I figured I'd stick around.

"I was pretty lucky to have a quad and triple-bogey on the last few holes and still make it."

Another reason Wilson is so ecstatic about playing in the tournament is the fact he doesn't have many accolades yet.

While many up-and-coming juniors have provincial age-group crowns under their belt, Wilson's biggest claim to fame is winning three father-son club championships over the years.

Aside from playing in a few McLennan Ross Sun Junior Golf Tour events, his tournament experience is limited.

"Up until a few years ago, I hadn't even played another course other than here," he said. "That's another reason why this is such a big deal for me."

That's not to say he hasn't had a brush with greatness. For a couple of years, he caddied for Stephen Ames when the Calgarian played -- though didn't compete -- at the tourney.

The best advice he received from the PGA Tour competitor: "He said once he realized he can't hit the perfect golf shot, he started to play golf."

As for future plans, Wilson is leaving it somewhat up in the air. A scholarship is a goal but first he's hoping to take a year off to travel to New Zealand to spend time learning the game from the many players who've come to Calgary.

"We're hoping I can go there for three or four months, get some coaching and play during their summer," Wilson said. "Then, I'll come back home and have a head start on our summer."


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