13-year-old Tile Evalu wins first Samoan Golf Masters
A 13-year-old is the overall winner of the first Royal Samoa Country Club Master’s Golf Tournament held at the Fagalii golf course on Saturday.
Tile Evalu from the villages of Vailele and Fagalii claimed the trophy with a gross score of 76 and a net score of 62.
He started playing golf in 2016 in a junior golf programme that targeted children interested in learning the skills of playing the sport, and has been playing for two years.
“I like golf because the game is more on the mental side rather than the physical – I also love the pressure in the game – it motivates me to play better and push me beyond my limits and also it is an individual game, you do not need a team to play," he said.
“The only difficulty I faced while playing was the hot sun. I was shocked at first when they said I was the winner but then very delighted that all the hard work has given good results but I credit my success to my parents and also friends.
“I am definitely competing next year."
The 13-year-old said he will represent Samoa in America for the International Management Group (I.M.G.) Junior World Golf Championships.
“I am very excited to represent my country and I hope to make everyone proud. It is difficult to balance education with sports, I train every day starting early in the morning before school and when school finishes but I am determined to do both.
“In the future I want to represent Samoa in the PGA Tour in America specifically for professional golfers,” he added.
Speaking to the Samoa Observer was Toleafoa Dr. Viali Lameko, the president of the Royal Samoa Country Club.
He said the tournament aims to develop golf in Samoa and also for the participants to enjoy the sport.
“This is where we invite all our golfers both adults and juniors to come and participate in golf but at the same time inviting our partners like the business community to come and support this event," Toleafoa said.
“This year has showcased tremendous support by the business community and I guess it is in line with the Samoa Professional Golfers Association and also the Pacific Games next month.
“Golf is a professional game that is included in the Olympics, Commonwealth and Pacific Games but the significance of this hosting this tournament is the outcome of developing golfers in Samoa."
Toleafoa said the standard of golf in Samoa requires a lot of improvement.
“Which is why the junior golfers’ competition on Friday was also important in developing the sport but overall the turn up was fantastic,” he said.
Vice President of the Royal Samoa Country Club, Lutuiloa Vaiula Solomona, said there were five divisions and they invited the business community to play 18 holes in the golf course but to their amazement 25 companies signed on board.