After his emotional win at the Safeway Tour in September, the golf world turned its eyes to Cameron Champ—a man with a name to reflect his recent performance.
Just who is Champ? At the age of 24, he is high on the list of golfers to watch—before he turned pro in 2017, he was one of two amateur players that qualified for the U.S. Open and finished at even-par. Later in 2017 he turned pro and made his professional debut at the 2017 OHL Classic at Mayakoba.
Now, nearly two years later, he is the winner of the Safeway Tour, a win that he paid tribute to his grandfather Mack Champ, who is currently in hospice fighting Stage 4 cancer. The win at Silverado was an emotional moment for both Cameron and his father, Jeff, who recounted Mack’s influence on his career. It was Mack who bought Cameron his first set of golf clubs—a plastic set for kids when he was just two years old.
This one is for you, Pops! An incredible week that I’ll remember for the rest of my life! Thank you to the @safewayopen team, all of the volunteers, and fans for making it such a special week. pic.twitter.com/nHVmZ7evx6
— Cameron Champ (@Cameron__Champ) September 30, 2019
“First time I knew he had pretty good coordination,” Mack told the PGA TOUR earlier this year, “I don’t think he was 2 years old. I told him, I want you to take this long tee, you stay over here, and I’m going to go over and I want to see if you can hit it over the top of the house.”
With his grandfather in hospice, Cameron missed some events and practice rounds, but he still managed to pull a winning performance out at Silverado. He wrote “POPS” on his shoes and golf balls, giving himself something to play for at the Safeway Tour.
— Srixon (@SrixonGolf) September 30, 2019
“Obviously, golf, it’s my career,” Champ said. “I love doing it, but it made me realize it’s not the most important thing, that there’s a lot more to life.”
To top off the win, Champ jumped 100 places in the Official World Golf Ranking, from 170th to 70, something that would surely please Pops.
Champ studied at Texas A&M University and played for the Texas A&M Aggies. As part of his collegiate career, he won the OFCC Illini Invitational. In six other tournaments, he managed to place in the top ten, making him an important part of the team.
Champ has been with his coach, Sean Foley since he was fifteen when Foley saw him play. It’s fair to say that one of the reasons Champ is so incredible to watch is that he can drive a ball further than most—regularly driving over 330 yards and beyond. Foley is a steady hand for Champ and has coached many PGA players, including Tiger Woods. Foley’s scientific approach to golf ensures that his players can develop their speed, power, and precision, something that is more than evident in Champ’s game.
Champ’s usual mode of play is cool and calm, he weathers the game well and clearly takes his role as a pro golfer very seriously. It’s this attitude that makes us admire him even more! Champ’s style is one to be envious of; he never looks like he is struggling, he can swing at 130 mph and he never looks out of balance.
His wins include:
- 2019 Sanderson Farms Championship
- 2019 Safeway Tour
- 2018 Utah Championship
Champ is very vocal about the influence that his grandfather Mack has had on his life. Champ’s parents were both at work full time and so he spent a lot of time with his grandparents, time that was spent playing in the back garden and learning how to hit a ball from age two onwards.
Champ is part of a loving family and has one brother and two sisters. His parents, Jeff and Lisa are said to be a huge part of Champ’s life.
Champ’s family is proud of their mixed heritage, working class roots and this has turned Champ into is a keen supporter of young people who want to get involved in golf. He started The Cameron Champ Foundation to help children from deprived areas access STEM education and golf development. Champ’s father, Jeff, has been vocal about the racism he has experienced when he was playing college baseball and together, they are determined to help inspire the next generation of golfers.
Champ’s other passion is cars and trucks and he enjoys as many hours as he can spare working on them.
Full name: Cameron Mackray Champ
Born: June 15 1995
Hometown: Sacramento, California
Turned pro: 2017
Official World Ranking: 70th