Asi lov­ing the in­ter­club golf chal­lenge

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - KRIS DANDO

The way Qualen Asi hit the ball off the tee, he didn’t think for a moment a mile­stone in his short golf ca­reer was about to take place.

Over Easter, the three­hand­i­cap­per – and mem­ber of Judge­ford Golf Club’s top in­ter­club team – was play­ing a round at his home course with his fa­ther and un­cle.

At the par-3 fifth hole, the 17-year-old watched his tee shot veer off tar­get.

‘‘It hit the hill to the side of the green, sped on and hit the pin,’’ he said. ‘‘All I could see was how fast the ball was go­ing and then I lost sight of it.

‘‘My un­cle said it must have gone in. He and Dad were pretty ex­cited – a bit more than me.’’

Judge­ford’s top side are fifth af­ter four rounds of the Otaki Cup this year.

Asi and team-mate Jay­den Ford, 12, are up against older, more ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers, but the young­sters are dis­play­ing no fear.

‘‘It’s a chal­lenge and you have to be far more con­sis­tent,’’ Asi said.

‘‘I al­ways have nerves at the first tee, but I’ve been re­ally happy with my form. If things start to go wrong I go back to a note­book in my bag and go over my rou­tines to re­set.’’

Asi said the en­vi­ron­ment at Judge­ford was the right bal­ance of want­ing to win, but be­ing calm and re­laxed about re­sults.

With his fa­ther Dud­ley a fix­ture at the club – club man­ager and head of the ju­nior pro­gramme – Asi said he learnt to love the game early on.

Over the past four years his his golf im­proved markedly and now it is at least a twice-weekly part of his life.

Dur­ing sum­mer he played al­most ev­ery day, of­ten with Ford, and some­times 36 holes. He shot a par 71 dur­ing one ma­jes­tic round in Jan­uary.

Asi, a mem­ber of Welling­ton Col­lege’s 1st XV for three years, said his sports goals in the short­term were mainly in golf.

‘‘I’d love to play for Welling­ton and one day rep­re­sent Samoa at the Pa­cific Games. Right now, I’m just con­cen­trat­ing on mak­ing greens in reg­u­la­tion.’’

From left, Josh Crump­stone, Qualen Asi, Trey Shed­lock and Jay­den Ford rep­re­sent the next gen­er­a­tion of Judge­ford in­ter­club golf.

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