Dad now caddies for son he taught to play

Trevor Cone grew up trying to be as good as his father, Tom, on the golf course.

And now that Trevor, 17, has surpassed Tom, 51, as a golfer in the last few years, the game still bonds this father-son combination.

Just two weeks ago, that was never more evident than when both Trevor and Tom started in the 50th North Carolina Amateur as rivals before finishing the tournament with the father caddying for his son.

Tom shot 81 and 72 on the first two days and missed the cut before picking up his son's bag for the last two days of the tournament.

Trevor, a rising senior at Jay M. Robinson, shot 70 and 68 on the first two days of the tournament. He finished with a four-day total of 284 - four over par - to finish tied for 25th, his best ever in that tournament. For the second year in a row, he was the youngest player to finish as one of the best 31 on the field.

"I have always wanted to try to be as good of a golfer and an athlete as my father," said Trevor, who first beat his dad in golf at age 13. "He was who first taught me the game and has been really the only one who has influenced me outside my teacher (golf instructor, David Ross)."

Tom first taught Trevor how to play golf when he was 8 years old after his son persistently asked him if he could tag along when he went to play with friends and at tournaments.

Trevor quickly picked up the game, becoming a solid player at the junior level after turning 11. The younger Cone continued to rapidly get better and better with age and experience.

"From the time he picked up a golf club, Trevor has had a great natural swing," said Tom. "But I think he is just beginning to become the player he can be. He can be as good as he wants to be, he will just have to continue to work hard at the game."

Trevor's hard work began to pay off early as he became a scratch golfer and shot his career-low round of 63 (at Mimosa Hills Golf Club in Morganton) at the age of 14.

Then, Cone's high school career took off as the Robinson junior has been named all-conference his three seasons as a Bulldog.

Cone was the South Piedmont Conference and the Cabarrus News Player of the Year this season after averaging 36.3 per nine holes and qualifying for the 3A regional and state tournaments as an individual.

Cone's success has continued into the spring and summer as he not only verbally committed to play golf at Virginia Tech after his senior season, but also has gotten better on the junior circuit.

Cone finished a career-best 25th at the North Carolina Amateur, and still hopes to get a top 10 finish or better at the Carolinas Junior and Carolina Amateur, which pits North and South Carolina juniors against each other, before possible qualifying for the Carolinas-Virginia Junior Team Tournament Aug. 9-12 in Wilmington.

"I have a lot I still want to accomplish this summer and beyond as a junior golfer and in my senior year at Robinson," said Cone. "I think I am just starting to see what I can do on the golf course."

Tom Cone feels the same way about his son's game and potential for the future.

"I am biased for sure, but I think Trevor is one of the five best golfers in Charlotte, and that would be saying a lot," he said. "I think his game is only going to get better from here."