The up-and-coming generation of it Tour pros won’t surprise many golf fans thanks to the advent of social media. Rare is the superstar in any sport that doesn’t have highlight videos already plastered all over the internet by the time they reach high school or college. You could call it the Zion Williamson effect.
However, in golf, those can rumblings may reach a fever pitch at much younger ages because the aesthetics of a golf swing can be mastered — or at least imitated — much younger in life.
Take 6-year-old Tomas Owens of Northern Ireland for example. The Antrim native is growing up some 20 miles from the golf club that produced Rory McIlroy and, thanks to social media, he’s become a viral sensation already.
Night a the range. New grip. Now trying the interlock grip. Smethng to work on this winter pic.twitter.com/jfJpr6QXSv
— Tomas owens golfer (@tommyowens1987) December 20, 2018
To be fair, his is better! Nice move Tomas 👍🏼 https://t.co/N7p1PgzzDU
— Luke Donald (@LukeDonald) December 21, 2018
— Matt Wallace (@mattsjwallace) December 21, 2018
His geographic upbringing naturally makes him a massive McIlroy fan, but he also loves Jon Rahm and Tiger Woods.
Tomas took up the game at age three after receiving a set of plastic golf clubs from his father. A local pro hosted a junior golf group and the youngster was hooked.
“We brought Tomas along and it was there that I noticed Tomas had a natural talent for golf,” Tomas’ father Thomas Owens said.
Although he hasn’t played a full 18-hole round yet, his best 9-hole score is a 5-under par 35, according to GolfChannel.com, which he shot at the Irish Regional Wee Wonders Final. He’s also competed in the U.S. Kids Golf European Championships in May in Scotland and U.S. Kids Golf World Championships in August in Pinehurst, N.C.
This 1 of Tomas eagles he had today. Shot 5under. Wee wonders Ireland final. pic.twitter.com/0Ei31lQkCY
— Tomas owens golfer (@tommyowens1987) July 8, 2018
“This was an amazing experience, which we enjoyed as a family,” the elder Owens said. “Tomas had never played in that kind of heat, but he coped well and loved every aspect of the trip.”
While professional and even collegiate golf is still a ways off, the Owens are keen to let Tomas “enjoy the sport” and let his path lead where it may.
Didn’t drive well at the last comp. wee session with his coach n stuff to work on. Driving range time dnt cme often with me wrkin awy. But his coach helps alot 🏌🏻🏌🏻🏌🏻🏌🏻 pic.twitter.com/d6zTQg4Qa8
— Tomas owens golfer (@tommyowens1987) November 4, 2018