YOUNG Suva golfer Jia Yi Yao failed to find his form during the opening round of the 2012 Callaway Junior World Golf Championships in San Diego, United States of America yesterday.
Known as Tom Yao by his peers the Fiji Golf Club junior member scored 17 over par 79. In his round Yao carded four pars, 12 bogeys, a double bogey and a triple bogey.
The International School student was placed tied for 48th after round one in the boys 7-8 year category.
National Golf Association secretary Amitesh Chandra said Yao had attended a coaching clinic conducted by world renowned golf instructor David Leadbetter before the tournament. He said participating in the CJWGC was a learning experience for Yao.
"Tristan Levestam was the first golfer from the country to participate in the event," Chandra said.
"Yao playing for the first time has found the conditions difficult. The CJWGC attracts the top junior players from around the world. So he will learn a lot in the tournament. It was good to see him get a few tips from David Leadbetter who has worked with many top golfers in the world."
Some of Leadbetter's students include Nick Price, Charles Howell III and Michelle Wie. Leadbetter has also worked with professionals including Nick Faldo, Greg Norman and Ernie Els.
The CJWGC began in 1968 with 475 juniors participating in the event representing seven countries and 20 states.
Today the CJWGC has grown to be the largest international event and is unique for its international representation and cultural diversity.
The tournament has grown to 1200 participants representing 56 countries and 42 states.
Chandra said they would be sending three players to the 2012 Greg Norman Junior Masters Championship in Australia at the end of the year.
He said this would be an Under-18 event.
"We are looking to send two boys and a girl to the GNJMC," Chandra said.
"This will be held at the Coolangatta Tweed Heads Golf Club in New South Wales in December."
Yao will represent the country in the World Masters of Junior Golf Championship in Las Vegas next week.