Golf

8-year-old SA golf prodigy heads for world champs in USA

2018-07-30 12:30
Traigh Pathon (Supplied)
Traigh Pathon (Supplied)

Cape Town - Eight-year-old Athlone golfing phenomenon Traigh Pathon will be competing in the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship at the famous Pinehurst club in North Carolina from August 2-4.

Pathon will be joining more than 1 400 kids from around the world, aged 12 and under, to vie for the most prestigious title in kids’ golf.

At the end of May this year, Traigh tied for ninth in the Euro Kids Champs in Scotland. He was 1-under par for the three-day tournament and only six shots off the winner.

Pathon and his father and caddie David van Schalkwyk will be flying to America courtesy of Turkish Airlines which also sponsored his trip to Scotland.

Van Schalkwyk thanked Turkish Airlines for recognising Traigh’s potential: “Without them we would not have been able to play internationally this year.”

Turkish Airlines Cape Town General Manager, Kenan Ince says “we’re delighted by Traigh's outstanding performance in Scotland and are proud to play a role in ensuring he competes in the World Champs."

Traigh hit his first golf ball when he was only 14 months old and played his first full round of golf at the tender age of four. He is the youngest member of the prestigious Royal Cape Golf Club in Cape Town and is considered one of the world’s most promising young golfers.

Q&A with Traigh Pathon:

1) Who taught you to play golf?

My dad, YouTube videos, Kurt Stripp – I did group lessons with him every Saturday when I was 4 years old, and now, my coach Keagan Beyer.

2) Who's the best golfer in your family?

Me!

3) Can you keep up with your dad?

Sometimes I let him win.

4) Are you a better putter or a better driver?

Putter.

5) Have you ever had a hole-in-one?

Not yet, but I have come very close.

6) What is it about golf that you enjoy so much?

I love seeing the ball go into the hole.

7) When you’re competing, what do you focus on?

I play against the course I’m playing - focus on doing my best and having fun.

8) Which pro golfer do you emulate?

I think different ones at different times but I do like Justin Thomas he’s small but pound for pound he’s one of the longest on tour.

9) What four players would you like to play with?

Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson and Gary Player.

10) Is being on tour scary or exciting?

It usually starts off exciting but gets scary if I do well, the boys are very big and I have to really focus to do well and putt well. Your short game is important.

11) Do you enjoy other sports besides golf?

Yes, athletics and cross country

12) Which is your favourite golf course?

I was lucky to visit St. Andrews but I also love the Royal Cape and The River Club

13) Top 3 tips for winning in golf?

Head down

Finish high and

Every shot counts.

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