Watch youngster get the surprise of his life when he comes face to face with golf champion Henrik Stenson

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A young golf fanatic has become an internet sensation after getting the surprise of his life when he came face to face with his hero Henrik Stenson.

Seven-year-old James Russell, from Cleadon Village, was engrossed in a virtual reality game at this year's British Open Championship at Royal Birkdale, Southport, when he was surprised by the golf star.

James Russell meets Open champion Henrik Stenson at this year's Open Championship.
Pic by HSBC UK.

James Russell meets Open champion Henrik Stenson at this year's Open Championship. Pic by HSBC UK.

As a fanatic of the sport, it was a dream come true for the Cleadon Academy School pupil to meet the winner from last year's tournament.

A heart-warming video which captures the moment was posted on Facebook by HSBC Sport and has since gathered 350,000 views.

In it, the youngster is sat playing HSBC’s 360 virtual reality experience which relives Henrik’s titanic battle with Phil Mickelson from last year.

Once the experience had finished James takes off his VR headset to find he is face to face with the Open Champion.

James Russell meets Open champion Henrik Stenson at this year's Open Championship.
Pic by HSBC UK.

James Russell meets Open champion Henrik Stenson at this year's Open Championship. Pic by HSBC UK.

James' mum Lynne Russell, 46, was delighted her son was able to meet someone he admired so much, calling Stenson a 'lovely guy.'

She said: "We go to the Open every year and James has been going since he was about two years old.

"At the Open there is a kids zone and James and his dad Gary were playing in the virtual reality booth when I noticed all of these camera men and people going quiet.

"Then Henrik, who was last year's winner, picks out James and goes over to him.

James Russell plays golf with Open champion Henrik Stenson at this year's Open Championship.

James Russell plays golf with Open champion Henrik Stenson at this year's Open Championship.

"When James came off the game and saw him there he was just amazed.

"He was just like 'wow'.

"Stenson was a lovely guy and we thanked him for creating great memories for us."

After the surprise meeting Henrik then spent around an hour with James and the kids playing with them - something Lynne said many professionals don't do.

James Russell with Open champion Henrik Stenson at this year's Open Championship.

James Russell with Open champion Henrik Stenson at this year's Open Championship.

A keen golfer himself, James receives training twice a week from coach Bryan Ross and plays for Heworth Junior Golf Club as well as practicing with his dad Gary at Whitburn Golf Club.

Lynne added: "The next thing I know HSBC got in touch and said they had taken a video of the moment and were going to do a story on it.

"They put the video up around 5pm on Wednesday and it has already attracted 350,00 views - it's awesome.

"James has been playing since he was 18 months old wants to be a famous golfer one day.

"He has a great swing and people have been saying to us that he going to be the next champion.

"We are so proud of him and have already booked to go to next year's Open."

James Russell is a keen golf player, playing for Heworth Junior Golf Club and at Whitburn Golf Club.

James Russell is a keen golf player, playing for Heworth Junior Golf Club and at Whitburn Golf Club.

James Russell is a keen golf player, playing for Heworth Junior Golf Club.

James Russell is a keen golf player, playing for Heworth Junior Golf Club.