VETERAN local golf mentor Rodger Baylis has showered praise on golf prodigy Scott Vincent who is now ranked seventh on the latest World Amateur Golf Rankings following a famous Players Amateur victory in the US last week.
By Munyaradzi Madzokere
The Chapman Golf Club bred amateur, now on a golf scholarship at Virginia Tech University in the USA, Vincent has continued to carve a golf reputation bagging three titles in the 2013/14 season alone.
His latest triumph at the prestigious Players Amateur tournament in South Carolina saw him jump nine places to number seven in the world, a sure confidence boost ahead of the 2014 US Amateur Championship pencilled for August.
“Scott Vincent is a very fine golf player, I had the privilege to be his coach from when he was just a boy and I told him when he was only 12 years old that he will make a living on the Professional Golf Tour,” said Baylis in a telephone interview.
“He has that talent, he is fantastic, he has everything, a good mind, a good imagination, a good brain and he can swing very well.
“I remember the Harare Amateur Championship at Police Golf Club last year, he carded an astonishing 22 under par 266 score to win the tournament by 17 shots, something nobody had ever seen in local golf,” added the long-serving Zimbabwe amateur team coach.
Baylis assured that Scott Vincent will become a top professional in the mould of the legendary Nick Price, Mark McNulty, Tonny Johnstone and Brendon de Jonge among others.
“Look, there are tens of thousands of amateur golfers in the world and he is ranked 7th — a feat he has achieved while doing a degree where he has about two hours of golf every day, he is surely destined for greatness.”
Vincent is not the first young Zimbabwean player to enrol at Virginia Tech and excel.
The first player from Zimbabwe to catch Virginia Tech coach Jay Hardwick’s eye was Sean Farrell back in 1992, soon after came De Jonge, a two-time All-American during his 1999-2003 career and the MacDonald brothers, Nick and Marc.
Vincent plays college golf for Virginia Tech winning three times during the 2013/14 college season – the Golf week Conference Challenge, VCU Shootout and Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate adding to the Allegheny Amateur Championship he won in 2012.
In April, he played in the Sunshine Tour’s Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open, and finished joint 24th among the professionals.
He becomes one to watch at the 2014 US Amateur Championships next month.