Youngsters brace for battle

Lautoka Golf Club junior golfers (front row from left) Steven Leger, Jayden Dau and Alex Qiokata with senior players. Picture: SUPPLIED

LAUTOKA Golf Club junior members are ready to rumble in the big stage of competitive golf at the golf links on Saturday.

Youngsters Alex Qiokata, Steven Leger and Jayden Dau, will be part of the Phil’s Autoport sponsored 18 holes stroke Club championship event on Saturday.

Club official, Raymond Singh said the trio, who were part of the club’s junior development program, would rub shoulders against the senior members to decide the 2018 club champions in each grade.

“Give them a few more years and they will compete in the many national events and gain maximum knowledge of the game,” Singh said.

“Age is on their side, so with proper guidance and golf course management, they will peak at the right time to be part of the national training squad and to represent our country.”

Despite the inclusion of a number of juniors in the elite national squad, players representing Golf Fiji are well into their 30s and even over 40s, he said.

The former National Golf Association of Fiji western delegate said: “Personally I would love to see our national teams represented by golfers between the age of 18-25. At the moment, even with the experienced players representing Fiji, we are not even close to getting the desired results.

“Our most successful tournament being the South Pacific Games team of 1987, represented by Mahmood Buksh, Shiu Sami Naidu, Dharam Prakash and the Vilikesa Kalou. Fiji won gold in both the teams and individual events in Tahiti.

“Vilikesa Kalou also won the individual gold medal and was rewarded with the 1987 Fiji Sportsman of the Year award, but 31 years on, the award has eluded golf .

“Now is the time to support the upcoming junior golfers.”