Christopher Petefish is the lone Valley golfer taking part in the Thunderbird International Junior at Grayhawk Golf Club.
Petefish is one of 78 golfers taking part in the tournament, which is ranked No. 2 on Golfweek’s best junior event list.
This is truly an international event, with 14 countries having representation in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Petefish likes having competition come in from different parts of the world. It allows him to socialize, learn new cultures and make new friends.
“I usually like to talk, I’m usually not the person that can go around the whole course and not talk,” Petefish said. “I usually like to talk to people, wherever they’re from, so yeah, I’m a talker.”
Petefish has gotten his fair share of practice in at Grayhawk over the past week in anticipation of the tournament.
“I’ve been out here since last week, played it like five or six times,” Petefish said. “I know every break.”
Petefish is currently ranked 50th in the Polo Junior Golf Rankings. He recently came in second at the AJGA Winn Grips Heather Farr Junior Classic at Longbow Golf Club.
He’s also made a verbal committment to Georgia Tech.
“I was probably interested in five or six other [schools], I just felt like [Head Coach] Bruce Heppler’s helped a lot of guys on tour, and he’s had an amazing program there and a great history,” Petefish said. “I feel like, with his help and everything they have to offer, it just gives me a great opportunity.”
Petefish is currently enrolled at Scottsdale Christian Academy, and he’s a member of their golf team, but not for much longer. He’ll be moving back to his home state of California, and he’ll stay there for the next year until it’s time to head to Atlanta, Ga., for college.
“When I move back there, that’ll really help in shortening my game,” Petefish said. “I think it’ll really help me over the long run.”
All of the success Petefish is experiencing right now is a direct result of his parents getting him into the game of golf at a young age and allowing him to blossom.
Petefish has been playing competitively since he was nine years old. Being in the game as long as he has has given Petefish the confidence he needs to stand toe-to-toe with the best junior golfers in the world, and in time, the best pro golfers on tour.
“Yeah, I want to go on the PGA Tour, it’s a dream of mine,” Petefish said. “I know it’s gonna take a lot of work, but I’m ready for that.”
“You have to have confidence and [a] mental game, because there’s a lot of people that can play great golf,” Petefish said. “It’s the people who are mentally tough and have confidence in their game that will make it through.”