Cameron Champ is back in the PGA Tour winners circle, claiming the Safeway Open title in California over the weekend in dramatic fashion and the moment was a special one for his father Jeff Champ as well as his whole family.
As Champ, a Sacramento native, was putting the finishing touches on a one shot home state victory over Canada’s Adam Hadwin, Jeff was pictured in the stands watching and breaking down with emotion after a very significant win for the young golfer early in his career.
Here’s a look at the proud moment between father and son captured for the world to see:
The story behind all that emotion is a very special one. As PGATour.com’s Cameron Morfit wrote, Champ’s grandfather Mack Champ taught him golf at a young age despite being prevented his own chance to play. While his father opted to play baseball and had a cup of coffee within the Baltimore Orioles system, Cameron got hooked on golf and ended up becoming good enough to play in college with Texas A&M and later earn his tour card, arguably living out a dream of his grandfather.
Now, Mack Champ is in hospice suffering from stomach cancer and got to watch his grandson realize success. More than likely, the victory, which helps to announce Champ’s arrival on the golf scene in a big way, helped give him some bright moments over the weekend. That’s something his father believes.
“To win this event, a home event, grandpa’s at home right now watching. He’s been laying in bed the last few days. He actually got on the couch to watch. Congratulations son. Thank you for what a great young man you are. The family, we’re very proud of you. Love you son,” he said in the clip.
Truthfully, Champ himself could be on the fast track to becoming one of the next top young stars on tour. He’s one of the longest drivers that currently plays, and during the Safeway Open, Champ even led the field in driving distance at 337.1 yards according to Alex Myers of Golf Digest. Additionally, Champ has been consistent enough with the short game to be able to hang around leaderboards. Consistency with the putter will have to come next, but Champ seems to have one of the key elements that makes for a successful golf career in 2019 given his raw power.
Champ’s first win on tour came in October 2018 at the Sanderson Farms Championship in which he edged Corey Connors, another Canadian player. He won the Utah Championship on the former Web.com Tour in 2018 as well, and has grabbed most of his headlines for his freakishly long driving distance and sharp style on the golf course.
Thus far in his career, Champ hasn’t found much consistent success in the majors, with his best U.S. Open finish a T32 in 2017 at Erin Hills in Wisconsin and a T54 at the 2019 PGA Championship at Bethpage Black in New York. With this win in his back pocket during the PGA’s wrap around season, Champ will look to continue his climb up the mountain in the golf world and continue his development.
That, combined with the confidence gained from such a big and emotional win, could give Champ all the confidence he needs to become a mainstay on the PGA Tour.