Tanner Elder was shocked when he learned he had been invited to represent the United States in the 2014 International Junior Golf Tour Euro Cup.
Now, the Blair Oaks junior-to-be is looking forward to the opportunity of traveling to St. Andrews, Scotland to play for Team USA on some of the oldest golf courses in the world.
"I know this is a huge opportunity, and I just want to play my best and represent my family, school, state and my country in the best way possible," Elder said in a press release Wednesday.
Elder's accomplishments on and off the golf course got the attention of the IJGT, which is based in South Carolina.
"We want a very select type of individual to represent the United States on Team USA and Tanner fit every aspect we were looking for in a golfer and ambassador for our program and for the United States," said Zach Pennington, a regional director of the IJGT.
Elder finished second at the MSHSAA Class 2 state tournament as a freshman and was eighth as a sophomore.
Most recently, Elder made it to the final 32 at the Missouri Amateur Championship in St. Louis, where he edged amateur Hall of Famer Don Bliss, a former All-American at Oklahoma State University.
The 16-year-old Elder was the only player selected from Missouri and will join golfers from Pennsylvania, Washington, Michigan, Delaware, New York, Maryland, California and Virginia to compete against Team Europe and Team Canada.
Elder, who owns a 4.0 GPA, is also a part-time golf instructor at Oak Hills Golf Center, where he teaches youth the basics and etiquette of golf.
"Golf is a game you can take with you throughout your lifetime," Elder said. "If kids can start when they're young, who know where the sport can take them."