Glacier High School senior Connor Wallace, 17, has signed a letter of intent to play golf on a partial academic-athletic scholarship at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona.
The value of the scholarship over four years is more than $100,000.
ERAU is the nation’s leading aerospace/aviation university - with only the U.S. Air Force Academy producing more military pilots. Nearly 40% of airline pilots in the country are graduates of Embry Riddle.
A strong junior season of golf placed Wallace on the recruiting lists of several universities. After numerous top five finishes in elite, statewide tournaments, he received an exemption to play in the prestigious California Junior Amateur Tournament where he placed 42 last year. Wallace received the prestigious ‘sportsmanship award’ at the event, presented to the male golfer who exemplifies good behavior and respect for the game of golf.
“I’m looking forward to returning to the state junior amateur event where a high score on a single hole kept me from being one of the top 15 finishers last year,” Wallace said.
Wallace also played in several professional tournaments on the Golden State Mini Tour this past year. While his goal is to someday play on the PGA Tour he will forego professional golf to play in college for the next four years.
“I never considered turning professional out of high school because I wanted to experience college and learn to fly in case I’m unable play golf for a living,” Wallace said.
Wallace, with a 1 handicap and numerous rounds in the 60s, credits much of his golf development to his dad (Brian) but has also worked with pro Mike Schy and PGA Tour Champion Bryson DeChambeau for the past two years.
“Both have had a huge impact on my game. I’m truly blessed to practice side by side with a PGA Tour Champion and learn from a world class instructor like Mike Schy,” Wallace said.
“The recruiting process was long and difficult, and there was tremendous pressure on Connor to play well because college coaches closely monitor the scores of junior golfers throughout California, which has the greatest concentration of young talent in the country,” Brian Said.
Wallace received several college offers but his visit to Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and encouragement from Embry Riddle Coach Kim Haddow (former NCAA Coach of the Year and member of NCAA Golf Coaches Hall of Fame) made it an easy choice.
“She is such a great coach and knows the game of golf inside and out,” Connor said. “She is also known for previously coaching one of the nation’s leading golf programs at the University of Arizona.”
While his college freshman season looms in fall, Wallace is excited to accomplish as much as he can during this, his last, high school golf season.
“I want to qualify for the Junior World Championship and the U.S. Junior National Championship – those are my two biggest goals,” Wallace said. His coach and father, Brian Wallace said,
“We are so proud of him - his dedication and commitment is incredible for someone his age,” Brian said. “He typically starts his day at 5 a.m. and doesn’t finish until late in the evening in order get all his practice and school work completed. But it has paid off – for the next four years his job is to play golf and fly planes. Not bad work if you can get it.”
Upon graduation from ERAU, Wallace will receive a commercial pilot’s license that will qualify him to enter the aviation job market.