Story by Jeff Gard/Total Sports Quinte
Like father, like son.
Cameron Pero is following in his father’s footsteps on the golf course.
Pero, now 19, is a student-athlete at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Just like his dad was back in the day.
And this summer the Bloomfield golfer captured the Ontario Men’s Amateur title, which his father Mike Pero won in 1989. Golf Ontario says they are the first father and son to win the same championship.
The younger Pero has fond memories of getting into the sport at age three and riding on the cart with his dad, who he notes played on the Canadian tour for about 10 years and in a couple of PGA Tour events as part of a solid career before he was sidelined by injuries.
“He’s been my coach since I started so he’s had a pretty huge impact on my golf career,” Cameron Pero said.
Pero said he didn’t play in provincial-level tournaments around Grade 8 or 9. He was part of the final graduating class of Pinecrest Memorial Elementary School and then attended high school at Prince Edward Collegiate Institute in Picton.
His first taste of big competition was at the Canadian junior championships in New Brunswick and a couple of years ago won a Golf Canada NextGen event in Timmins, which he said boosted his confidence
In July, representing the Picton Golf and Country club, Pero won the 101st Ontario Men’s Amateur Championship at Black Bear Ridge in Corbyville.
“It was cool to win at Black Bear Ridge, it’s only 30 minutes from my house,” he said. “I’ve played it probably 15 or 20 times before so a little course knowledge there which helped a little bit. I’ve always loved that course – it’s always in great shape. If you’re playing well, you can score, but it can eat you up if you’re not hitting the ball straight.”
Pero considers himself to be a streaky player.
“I got hot that week and it was a good time to do it,” he remarked. “It was cool to have people I know from my home watch the final round.”
The win advanced Pero to the Canadian Amateur championship Aug. 7 to 10 in Caledon, but missed the cut.
Pero did, however, win the Willingdon Cup with Ontario teammates Ashton McCulloch, of Bath, and Garret Rank as the top provincial team during the first two days of competition as they edged Quebec by one shot.
“That was cool to win that,” Pero said.
It was his first time competing at the national men’s championship. He qualified last year, but was unable to attend.
“The field was pretty stacked…all the best players in Canada and there’s also a lot of good (NCAA) Division 1 golfers from the States who come up and play,” Pero said.
Pero is back now at Miami University looking to build off a strong freshman year. He’s proud of some top-10 finishes in tournaments last year and keeping his grades up as he studies finance. He enjoys the teams he’s a part of, as well.
“We get to travel together and play some pretty cool courses all around the States,” Pero said.
Not surprising considering his introduction to the sport at a young age, but Pero just loves to golf.
“I love the fact that it’s all on you in the end. It can be good or bad that it’s all on you, but I like to be able to put things in my own hands. Just really compete against myself and try to get better every day,” he said.
“It’s also a peaceful sport to play. Practice is nice. It’s just a nice escape from life. It’s fun to be able to get better and keep seeing yourself get better. I’ve taken a love for that part of the game.”