RISING golf sensation Sean Crocker is now the second-highest ranked Zimbabwean amateur golfer in the world after an impressive start to his college golf career with the University of Southern California (USC).
Crocker, who was ranked outside the top 500 at the start of the year, is now ranked 286th on the world amateur golf rankings behind compatriot Scott Vincent, who after reaching the world’s top 10 early this year now is on position 53.
Ray Badenhorst, who is based at Florida Tech University, is the third-highest ranked Zimbabwean amateur golfer on position 719 while Mississippi State University’s Benjamin Follet-Smith is ranked on position 1 330.
Thembelani Vundla is the highest ranked locally-based player on position 1 627 while Renco Mine-based Visitor Mapwanya recently broke into the world rankings on position 2 165.
However, it is Crocker’s recent upward surge which has been impressive considering that only recently he was competing in the junior ranks.
The 18-year-old US-based teenage star, who is one of the country’s brightest young golf prospects, has immediately made an impression at USC where he is now their number two seed.
Crocker had an impressive college golf debut last month at the season-opening Southwestern Intercollegiate tournament in California, finishing tied for second place on the leaderboard and in the process steering his team to the overall title.
The young freshman went on to finish fourth at the Nike Golf Collegiate Invitational at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas before managing a 19th place finish at the Itani Quality Homes Invitational in Washington.
The player’s father Gary Crocker said his son’s impressive start has given him the confidence that he can turn professional in the next two years.
Gary Crocker, who played in Zimbabwe’s historic first-ever Test cricket match against India back in 1992 and went on to play two more in a short international career, has been a major influence in his son’s career.
“Since taken up college duties his world amateur rankings have gone from 500 to 286 this week. Scott Vincent is currently our top ranked amateur in the world amateur rankings and is currently ranked 53,” said Crocker Snr.
“His coach is very excited to have him and looking forward to exciting things in the future with him in the team.
“Asking Sean what his future plans are he says he intends to turn professional in two years. I hope he is good enough; otherwise he needs to finish off his degree which is what i would prefer he did.”