Golfer gets past wildlife, in­jury


A Taupo teenager has over­come a bro­ken hand and thiev­ing man­grove mud crabs to se­cure fourth place in the South Pa­cific Ju­nior Golf Open in New Cale­do­nia.

Olly Monkman [13] frac­tured his hand af­ter slip­ping on ice three weeks be­fore the con­test be­gan.

He was rep­re­sent­ing Taupo Golf Club in the un­der 21 tour­na­ment and com­peted against 44 play­ers from Aus­tralia, Tahiti, Van­u­atu and New Cale­do­nia.

He said the big­gest chal­lenges he faced, be­sides his sore hand, were the co­conut trees and the man­grove mud crabs, which are known for tak­ing off with the golf balls. They only claimed on of his this year.

‘‘It is a risk and re­ward course, you ei­ther get a re­ally high score or a re­ally low one.’’

‘‘It was ex­cit­ing and fun, I met ev­ery­one from last year,’’ he said.

Olly’s mum Su­san Monkman said it was a tough course, held over three days against a back­drop of spec­tac­u­lar scenery.

Olly had the splint­ing removed from his hand at the start of the tour­na­ment, and de­spite a rocky start, he man­aged to play all games.

He said af­ter tak­ing Panadol for his pain he felt bet­ter, and was glad he didn’t re­move him­self from the tour­na­ment.

Olly won runner up for his age group and over­all placed 4th in the Un­der 21 tour­na­ment.

Olly said he didn’t ex­pect to come fourth and said it was a shock when he did.

If there was one thing he learnt from the ex­pe­ri­ence it was to never give up when things get tough.

‘‘Day one I was nowhere, and near the end [of day three] I was fourth.’’

Wil­son Sim­monds [12] also went along and com­peted in his first in­ter­na­tional tour­na­ment.

The boys played at Tina Golf Course, a sis­ter Course to Taupo Golf Course, and ex­pe­ri­enced amaz­ing French hos­pi­tal­ity, food and cul­ture.

Play­ers from New Cale­do­nia hope to at­tend Taupo Ju­nior Masters tour­na­ment in Oc­to­ber where they can share the cul­tural ex­pe­ri­ence of the town, said Su­san.

Olly Monkman.

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