Bartlett teen hand-picked for ‘Bubba’ Classic

The Fed Ex St. Jude Classic might be highlight history, but the barometer of junior level golf in Bartlett is just heating up. BE logo square

Toby Wilson, a 14-year-old golfing prodigy, will play at the Quail Ridge Golf Course June 17-20 during the 33rd Annual Bubba Conlee National Junior Golf Tournament.

Wilson is among the selected few accepted in this year’s tournament. He was hand-selected from more than 320 applicants who hailed from more than 30 states and three countries.

Wilson first played golf with his family on Father’s Day in 2006 and “was so intrigued by the challenge that I just couldn’t quit,” he said.

Three years later, 10-year-old Wilson entered his first AAU tournament at Cordova Country Club.

“I couldn’t even break a hundred,” said Wilson, laughing about his first tournament challenge.

But by last year, as he began to grow in both size and focus, Wilson was able to shave more than five points off his average. Wilson finished the 2012-2013 season at the United States Junior Golf Tour with an overall ranking of fourth among the Junior High Boys Division. He collected a first-place title at Greystone National Junior Tournament in Dickson at one over par and placed second at the United States Junior Golf Tour USJGT 2013 Tour Championships in Bartlett at five over par.

Wilson, who would normally attend Bolton High School as a rising freshman in the fall is awaiting news of his transfer request to Bartlett High School, in order to compete in the Boys High School Division. He is not too nervous because most of his good friends and golf buddies are already competing at that level and he knows what to expect.

“It’s going to be tough for awhile,” said Wilson. “The fields are bigger and the competition is stronger, but I believe that if you really want something bad enough, and you are willing to work for it…I believe that you can make it happen.”

The Bubba Conlee Golf Tournament has raised thousands of dollars for St. Jude and is held annually in memory of James Larry Conlee Jr., also known as “Bubba.” Conlee was a promising junior golfer from Germantown High School who was killed when his car was struck by a train.

Other Bartlett players that were accepted to “The Bubba” this year include Peyton Dix, Clayton Gregory and Zachary Smith.