Our wor­ld cham­pi­on

Mossel Bay Advertiser - - Voorblad - Lin­da S­parg Mo­re pho­tos, vi­deo on www.mos­sel­ba­y­ad­ver­ti­ser.com

Mar­tin Vor­ster (15) won the Re­ply I­ta­li­an In­ter­na­ti­o­nal U16 C­ham­pi­ons­hip on 7 Sep­tem­ber. An in­ter­view with Mar­tin was in­ter­rup­ted con­stant­ly by well wis­hers, bur­s­ting with pri­de, who ca­me to con­g­ra­tu­la­te this ne­west dar­ling of Mos­sel Bay.

T­he­se we­re so­me of the com­ments: “Well do­ne. You de­ser­ve it. We’re proud of you. It’s gre­at to see a Mos­sel Bay guy up the­re.”

Not on­ly is Mar­tin al­re­a­dy a golf wor­ld cham­pi­on, he is brig­ht. He fi­nis­hed gra­des 8 and 9 in one y­e­ar. He ho­me schools via the GED A­ca­de­my.

With his im­pec­ca­ble man­ners and hu­mi­li­ty, he is a fi­ne am­bas­sa­dor for South A­fri­ca. He says the most me­mo­ra­ble as­pect of the cham­pi­ons­hips was the rush of being tre­a­ted li­ke a star.

“Af­ter I won, the­re we­re ca­me­ras and vi­deo ca­me­ras e­ver­y­w­he­re. You don’t get that in South A­fri­ca. The­re we­re fi­ve 12-y­e­a­rolds who we­re too young to com­pe­te in the tou­r­na­ment and they ran up to me and took sel­f­ies and got my au­to­graph. That doe­sn’t hap­pen in SA,” he rei­te­ra­tes.

He be­ams and his ey­es s­par­kle as he re­calls this.

Fi­ne hours on the golf cour­se per day is the norm, plus he gyms. Are the­re any ot­her sports at which he ex­cel­led? “I was good at athle­ti­cs. In Gra­de 7 I ca­me thi­rd at SAs in high jump, but I didn’t con­ti­nue with it,” says the tall teen.

“In 2015 I had back pro­blems. I had a gro­wth spurt.” The Lou­is 57 A­ca­de­my sent Mar­tin to a golf trai­ner in P­let­ten­berg Bay, who taug­ht him how to ‘’gym for golf’’. Sin­ce Mar­tin star­ted trai­ning and stret­ching dif­fe­rent­ly he has had no pro­blems. It is sig­ni­fi­cant that he li­ves and practi­ses at the Mos­sel Bay Golf Cour­se, which was the ho­me cour­se of Mos­sel Bay’s golf star, Lou­is Oost­hui­zen.

Mar­tin, spon­so­red by PING, is co­a­ched by Val Hol­land. Al­so, she is the co­ach of the a­ma­teur SA wo­men’s te­am.

His feet firm­ly on the ground, Mar­tin is ho­nest a­bout his strengt­hs and we­ak points. “I need to work on my put­ting. It’s not up to wor­ld stan­dard. And my wed­ge play be­t­ween 60 and 110 me­tres. My strengt­hs are the dis­tan­ce I hit the ball and my long i­rons are good and accu­ra­te. I’m im­pres­sed with the way I’m chip­ping.”

He des­cri­bes him­self as an ad­ven­tu­rous per­son. “I’d much rat­her be out­doors, hi­king, than wa­t­ching TV.”

Ho­me school­ing and playing golf me­ans he sees his friends on­ly on wee­kends. “It’s a sa­cri­fi­ce. I want to turn pro at 19. My go­al is to win a Ca­reer Grand Slam.

Of South A­fri­cans, on­ly Ga­ry Play­er has do­ne that, and on­ly six pe­op­le in the wor­ld ha­ve won it. I al­so want to re­pre­sent South A­fri­ca at the O­lym­pi­cs.” Mar­tin’s dad, Wal­do, who got him in­to golf, says: “I am just so hap­py for him. He wor­ked hard. As pa­rents we’re re­al­ly proud of him and be­lie­ve he will ma­ke it big.”

Mar­tin Vor­ster at the Mos­sel Bay Golf Club. He says it was a “bles­sing” to be at the cham­pi­ons­hips and re­gar­ding his win, “all glo­ry to God”.

Mar­tin with dad Wal­do and the fa­mi­ly’s dog, Zoë.

Pho­tos: Lin­da S­parg Mar­tin Vor­ster with K­rie­kie Ja­cobs, who is a mars­hall and star­ter at the Mos­sel Bay Golf Club, and wan­ted his pho­to ta­ken with Mar­tin.

Newspapers in Afrikaans

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.