Youngster eyes World Golf Championship

When youngster Yasser Ahmed appears at the Pakuranga Golf Club on February 12, he would be the cynosure of all eyes, especially those of selectors and experts in the game.

For the 11-year-old boy, it would be the tee-off to qualify to play in the ‘US Callaway World Golf Championship’ later this year.

Last month, he won in the ‘Eleven-Year-Old Boys’ category, posting rounds of 45 and 41 at the United States Kids Golf Foundation match held at the Waitakere Golf Club, as a part of the Auckland Summer Tour.

The Foundation is the world’s largest junior golfing organisation, which launched the New Zealand tour this year, with eight tournaments for boys and girls aged between five and 16 years.

The tournament provides an opportunity for young players to hone their skills and participate in group competitions, without incurring costs of travelling long distances.

Rising star

Yasser was reportedly the only player representing Fiji at the tournament.

Born in Nadi, Fiji, Yasser was initiated into Golf by his father Yasin Ahmed, a professional golfer, based in the home course of former World champion Vijay Singh.

A Class 7 student at the Nadi Muslim Primary School in Fiji, Yasser began to prove that he was a chip of the old block at an early age. His father and mother (Khatoon Shanaaz) are among his biggest supporters and fans, while Nadi Airport Club Captain Shalesh Singh is his mentor.

In October 2010, he created a record in the history of the Nadi Airport Golf Club by becoming the youngest player to ace the 18th hole.

A member of the US Kids Golf Foundation, Yasser has lofty ambitions.

“I want to become a tour golf player in the US PGA Tour and my ambition is to become a World Champion like Tiger Woods,” he said.

His parents are so determined to make the young man’s dream come true that despite their home in Nadi washed away by the recent floods in Nadi, they have decided to stay back in Auckland to ensure that their son does his best in the tournament on February 12.

The PGA Tour, with its headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida (a suburb of Jacksonville), is the organiser of the main men’s professional golf tours in the US and North America.

It conducts most of the events on the flagship tournament, the ‘PGA Tour,’ the ‘Champions Tour’ (for golfers aged 50 and above) and the ‘Nationwide Tour’ (for professional players who have not yet qualified to play in the PGA Tour).

Established by the Professional Golfers’ Association of America in 1968, it created separate organisation for tournament golfers, as opposed to club professionals, who are the primary focus of the PGA of America.

It adopted the name “PGA Tour” in 1975.

The PGA Tour organisation runs 43 of the week-to-week professional golf events on the tournament known as the PGA Tour, including The Players Championship, hosted at the TPC at Sawgrass, the FedEx Cup and the biennial Presidents Cup.

The remaining events on the PGA Tour are run by different organisations, including the US based LPGA Tour for women and the other men’s and women’s professional tours around the world.

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