CAROLINA CRISIS: THIS IS BIGGER THAN YOU By Michael...
Golfer of the Week!!!
Motivated by the love of the game.
Xavier has a rare mix. He was born to Pacific Islander/Philippine mother (Christine) and an African American/Puerto Rican father (Miguel). At the very early age of ten months little Xavier began his love for the game of golf by picking up his first golf club. The youngest of four, he adores his big sisters: Jackie (21), Jennifer (20), and Gaby (18). He knows all about “girl power” and— for sure, his older sisters are well aware of how much their small “brother-man” has packed into his golfing skills. And when he’s playing he’s focused. He serious about competition and the concentration shows all over his face.
Xavier tells us that unfortunately “none of his sisters play” but they are very supportive of him. And, that’s good to know, because it can be quite tough out there as a young man, fighting all those sand traps, bunkers and water hazards without knowing that somewhere, somehow, somebody’s got your back!
Little Xavier attends Fort Gordon Day care and tells in a jovial voice that his favorite subject is recess. He’s not dodging the STEM subjects, he just chooses to have a moment, or so, to himself, to contemplate his future. Many say it a sign of a keen mind, and independent individual who likes to figure things out on their own.
This pint-sized youngster now resides in Evans, Georgia, a suburb of Augusta and is part of the Augusta Richmond County. Located just twelve miles away from Augusta National Golf Club, it has played host to the annual Masters Tournament, one of the four major championships in professional golf since 1934. The only major played each year at the same course. It is ranked as one of the top golf courses in the United States.
Residing in such close proximity of one of the best golf courses in the U.S. can make it a wonderful place for any golf lover to live. So is the case of ‘lil’Xavier. When asked why he like residing in Evans he told us that, “I really like that I’m surrounded by all the golf courses in Augusta, Georgia and South Carolina.” Ummm…got that right!
Xavier also enjoys playing golf at two of those nearby courses:
Though only four-years old, young Xavier began watching, his “papi” as he calls him, playing golf in the garage at their home, and the practice range. And the love the game began.
Although Xavier has had no formal training his resume in the game of golf is extensive. He has competed in eight Palmetto Junior Tour tournaments (four in the Spring/Summer 2014season and four in the Fall/Winter 2014 season) in the 5-7 age group, sometimes played in the 8-9 age group. He has achieved first place in all eight with a 9-hole average score of 41. And was awarded the Spring/Summer 2014 season finale trophy and is well on his way to winning the Fall/Winter 2014 season finale trophy with four wins and two matches remaining.
Xavier explains to us that he trains by the Golf Fix on The Golf Channel and find it very helpful. He also consistently practices with his papi at the putting range, driving range, and also in the garage. All of this, he says, has really helped him prepare for competition.
Most recently, Xavier has won two more tournaments in the 5-7 age group and will win the 2014 Palmetto Kids Golf Tour Fall/Winter season finale trophy with six victories out of eight, with two matches remaining. He will start competing in the US Kids Golf tournaments in Atlanta next year when he turns 5-years old. These tournaments are the qualifiers to compete in the US Kids World Championships in Pinehurst, NC. This accomplishment is one of Xavier’s main goals and dreams.
Outside of golf Xavier, like most youngsters his age, enjoys playing electronic games, especially Wii sports golf, and wrestling with his papi!
When asked how does he stay motived to play the game he tells us,” I’m always motivated because I LOVE golf.” And because his love of the game, he aspires to be in the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship in Pinehurst, North Carolina and qualify for the Drive, Chip, and Putt held annually at the Augusta National. Xavier continues to practice hard simply for the love of the game. Watch out world!
Written by Brooke Johnson a freelance journalist based in Pensacola, FL