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Wednesday 7 December 2011 | Published in Regional


The Rarotonga and Aitutaki Golf Club is looking forward to sending another batch of upcoming junior golfers to top age grade tournaments in Auckland this weekend.

Junior Cook Islands golfers will play at the 2011 Auckland Age Grade Golf Championship and the Whitford Age Grade Golf Tournament to be played at the Grange Golf Club in Papatoetote and Whitford Golf Club on the east coast of Auckland.

Both tournaments will field around 120 elite young players in the under 16 and under 19 age group from all around the north island of New Zealand.

Due to handicap restriction and qualification for the tournament, the Cook Islands can only send 2 players from Aitutaki namely Leonard Roa and Winston Kiria. Both players will be joined by Tony Turua (Grange Golf Club, Auckland), Jojo Karati (Russely Golf Club, Christchurch), Teariki Smith (Grange Golf Club, Auckland) and Karika Karika Jnr (Napier Golf Club, Napier).

Although the club has no girls participating this year it is hopeful that next year the younger girls will meet the qualification benchmark.

The team will be away from the December 10 and returning on December 16 with a non-stop golf programme playing 72 holes of golf tournament and 36 holes of practice rounds over 6 days.

This team will have to be physically fit and mentally focused on the game in order to compete against elite players in the Auckland region.

Last Saturday, 14-year-old Leo Roa shot an excellent 8 over the card gross of 78 at Rarotonga Golf course as he prepared for this weekends trip to New Zealand.

In the last two weeks the junior committees have been fundraising at the Rarotonga and Aitutaki Golf Club during business house golf tournaments to meet any financial shortfalls while the team is in New Zealand.

The team acknowledges Air Rarotonga, Budget Rental, Nav Sighn, Ewan Smith and family, all the Rarotonga and Aitutaki Golf Club members for their great support towards the development of our junior golfers.

As part of its junior golf development, the team is looking forward to hosting its own international age grade golf tournament in July 2012 and invite interested clubs around New Zealand to participate.