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Young ‘Range Rats’ Show Their Love Of Golf

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(credit: CBS) Mike Max
Mike Max returned to WCCO-TV as a sports reporter and anchor in Apr...
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LAKEVILLE, Minn. (WCCO) — There are a number of talented youth golfers in the Twin Cities and these are kids who love to play the sport.

Nine-year-old Jason Quinlan is a golf prodigy but that’s not the story here. There are a lot of junior golf prodigies. Eleven-year-old Megan Welch is also one of those.

Put the two together and you’ve got a playful golf rivalry for the ages.

“[Megan] really loves to play more than practice so the swimming pool and hitting pitch shots in there, great thing, right up her alley. She loves to compete,” said Crystal Lake Golf Course Teaching Pro Sheryl Maize.

“[Jason's] quiet, kind of more serious. Really focused and then he’ll hit a good shot and he’ll look up and you’ll see this smile that will light up his face,” Maize said.

That’s thanks, in part, to their mentor who’s not a bad golfer himself.

Fifteen-year-old Alex Uloth is a near scratch golfer who plays for Burnsville High School.

“If you want to do it you have to love it. That’s what I try to tell them, you know, if you want to practice, come practice, its fun,” he said.

The sophomore-to-be got to know Jason and Megan because the three share a common trait. They’re what you call “range rats.” They’re kids that have developed such an intense love for the game that they’ll spend hour after hour, day after day on the range, perfecting the games nuances.

While helping to teach Megan the game, Alex got to know Jason, who recently moved here from Ohio and thought the youngsters would hit it off. And boy, have they.

“We sometimes have longest drive contests just for fun,” said Megan.

“But we usually don’t have it for money,” joked Jason.

“Maybe a candy bar — we should starting doing that,” joked Megan.

The two feed off of each other, using their friendly, but very competitive games, to improve their own. Both travel the country playing in various junior tournaments and fare quite well.

“I like playing games and I like competing and stuff like that,” said Megan.

“I don’t even think I was nervous my first time because it’s not that much pressure,” said Jason.

Jason’s best score at Crystal Lake is a 2-under 69 and he has placed in several national tournaments. Megan, 11, has won a number of junior tournaments beating girls that are in the 13- to 18-year-old age division.

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