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JOHANNESBURG - Eight-year-old Athlone golfing phenomenon Traigh Pathon competed in the annual US Kids Golf World Championship at the famous Pinehurst club in North Carolina last week.

After three days of competition, Traigh finished a creditable 24th out of 132 players in his age group.

Traigh’s father and coach, David van Schalkwyk says that the conditions were tough as the players had to contend with both heavy rain and a heat wave on a really demanding course.

On the second day, Traigh’s round was suspended by rain after only 30 minutes, which meant he had to complete two rounds on the final day.

Van Schalkwyk says: “The course itself was very difficult with fast greens and much longer than usual distances – the par 5’s felt like par 7’s for Traigh. Even though it was a tough course, he played really well in the context of his age group and, most importantly, had lots of fun during the tournament”.

Traigh and his dad flew to America courtesy of Turkish Airlines, which also sponsored his recent trip to a major European event in Scotland. Van Schalkwyk thanked Turkish Airlines for recognising Traigh’s potential: “Without them, we would not have been able to play internationally this year.”

Traigh hit his first golf ball when he was only 14-months-old and played his first full round at the tender age of four. He is the youngest member of the prestigious Royal Cape Golf Club in Cape Town.

This article first appeared on EWN : SA golf prodigy (8) battles world’s best and the weather in USA

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