Who will be golf’s next great superstar? It may be this young man.
Xavier Perez is 10-year-old phenom whose future in the game may be even brighter than his present already is.
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Xavier, known as Xeve, started playing the game at 18 months old, winning his first tournament at 3. He has racked up more than 300 wins and is the top-ranked golfer among 12 to 14-year-olds in his home state of Georgia, even though he’s not in that age bracket.
Xeve has already overcome his share of obstacles, too. He was born premature at 20 weeks, weighing barely 3 pounds. Doctors didn’t think he would live.
“They told us that to be prepared, to have a baby with special needs, based on tests and stuff that they did. But, yeah, he was special, in other ways,” his father, Miguel, told TODAY’s Blayne Alexander.
Xeve, of course, draws comparisons to Tiger Woods, who he’s quick to name as his favorite golfer.
“There's no one else. Tiger Woods,” he said. “I mean, I have my Tiger Woods outfit on. Everything's Tiger. My shoes are even Tiger.”
Xeve also has a real drive to succeed, an ambition that may take him to the top of the golfing world.
“He's never satisfied with anything,” said his coach, former pro golfer Chip Deason. “He's always wanting to get better. And as long as he has that drive, the sky’s the limit."
He may only be 10, but Xeve continues to wow his parents.
“Every day he amazes us. He's always surprising us on the tournament or on the practice. But just being who he is,” mom Christine said.
Xeve is dedicated to his craft, practicing nearly every day, with the exception of Christmas or his birthday. He longs to play at the prestigious Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters, when he is 16.
“It would be a dream come true,” he told Carson Daly Friday on TODAY. “I’m just praying everyday that my dream will come true.”
And while he may be a golfer with his future in front of him, his dad said he’s more than that.
“It’s surreal to me, not only the golfer, but the good son and good gentleman that he has grown up to be,” Miguel said.
Xeve is a gentleman, something that leaves his mother in awe.
“It doesn’t come from us. I think it comes from himself,” she said, while adding he’s watched golf movies to see how to act as a golfer.
One person who is definitely in Xeve’s corner: Carson Daly himself. Carson is an avid golfer who thinks big things are on the horizon.
“When I was 13, I played with a 10-year-old Tiger Woods in Southern California. I’ve seen this story before,” he said.