Not many people can claim they showed up golf champions Jason Day and Jordan Spieth with the club in hand on a television show aired to millions of viewers.
Five-year-old Armidale golfer Isaac Riches did just that when he and American golfing young guns Aiden Dinani and Madison Moman appeared on the Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon.
The junior champion appeared on the show and when asked who his idol was, Isaac answered “Jason Day because he’s an Aussie like me” and said if he met the superstar he would “give him a big huggle cuddle.”
Isaac got the chance to fulfill his wish when Day appeared moments later alongside Spieth.
Fallon and the two pros took on the young trio in a spin-off game of golf, ‘Skee-Ball’, and were bettered by their younger opponents.
Isaac caught the attention of Fallon through his success in the sport at such a young age.
He is the current face of the Australian MyGolf program dedicated to encouraging five to 12-year-olds to play the sport.
If you saw Isaac out on the green it wouldn’t take much to realise how he has achieved so much success.
The pre-schooler is dedicated to his craft.
More so than people three times his age.
When a heavy downpour hit the Armidale Golf Club on Friday at the time Isaac was scheduled to have his lesson with Andrew Walkley, a dark cloud also crossed his face through sheer disappointment in potentially missing out on time on the course.
“He’s a perfectionist,” Walkley said.
“I have never seen anything like it in 30 years.
“There’s been good kids but none that want to listen and learn like Isaac.
“Apart from the times when we realise he is still a kid when he has his little moments, apart from that he is very focused and very driven.
“He wants to know why and that's what I enjoy helping him with.”
Isaac picked up plastic clubs when he was not even two years old and his obsession had just grown.
His father Damian said Isaac spends every moment he can chipping or putting.
“If you just take into account time out here [Armidale Golf Club], he comes out here three or four times a week for an hour,” he said.
“He will have an official lesson once every two weeks.
“Every time he goes in the backyard.
“We have a fort, a sandpit, we have trees to climb but he just grabs a golf club.”
Damian said he and his wife Bec don’t put pressure on Isaac – the five-year-old puts it on himself – but they enjoy seeing him do something he loves.
“I am proactive in sourcing the equipment and videoing stuff to encourage people to play but in terms of coaching and playing we want to step back from that,” he said.
“It would be very easy for us to get too caught up in it because it would affect the relationship we have as dad and son.
“We don’t need to push him more.”
For the Riches family there are more important things in Isaac playing golf than his success in it.
“The two most important things are it’s a positive and memorable experience for him and it promotes junior golf.
“It has got to remain fun.”
Isaac will have the chance to hang out with Day again at next month’s Australian Open when they join forces to teach other juniors golfing skills.
The youngster will then turn his focus to competing in the under 7 Australian Championships with the chance of snagging a spot to compete in the World tournament in America next year.