Craig Owen from New Zealand was all smiles yesterday.
The 62-year-old is not in the country for the first time. He came to Samoa to play golf in 1974 and 1975, and he is back in country as a Senior Golfer to compete in the tournament.
Speaking to the Samoa Observer, Mr. Owen said he is thrilled to be back.
“It’s really great to be back and remember what it used to be like,” he said. “It’s always good to get for a week and come to Samoa to play the game I love. And I feel really good about this tournament.
“It feels great having the sponsors coming on board and taking care of us while we’re here in Samoa. It’s an important event to all of us who love golf.”
However, Mr. Owen said he not here entirely for a vacation.
“I am here for a tournament and I am confident that I will win the first prize.”
61-year-old golfer said he started playing golf at the age of ten.
“I have always loved golf from a young age,” he said. “It’s a great challenge and it’s a great game. It teaches you self-discipline and it’s a great sport.
“I think once you get hooked on golf, you will never look back. And it teaches you a lot about yourself and your discipline. I value the complexity of the game and the need for preparation and practice to truly get better.”
Said Mr. Owen, he adores all aspects of the game.
“I like every aspect of golf. I like chipping, bunker shots, pitching the ball and driving, and basically everything. It has helped me to be the person I am today.
There are a lot of similarities between success on the golf course and success in life, said Mr. Owen.
“In life you need to have the right balance of skill, discipline, hard work, and a little bit of luck.
“And a famous golfer said, “Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. You get bad breaks from good shots; you get good breaks from bad shots - but you have to play the ball where it lies.
No matter how well you prepare, you always need to be prepare for one certainly: the unexpected.
“So much of what we are able to achieve comes from our ability to carry forward good character traits and strength of mind. To me this means perseverance, grit and tenacity. If you maintain those characteristics, you will go far.
“And you learn all this skills from playing golf and that’s what I love about this game.”
While in Samoa, Mr. Owen is looking at sharing his skills and experience with some of the aspiring local golfers in Samoa.
“I am trying to help some of the local boys here in Samoa,” he said.
“I know this is not a popular sport in Samoa, but we are seeing more and more talents over the years.
"I know it’s a technical game and a very difficult one to play but we’ve seen that there’s heaps of natural ability in Samoa and there has been a lot of improvement over the years.”