Golfer at a tender age of 7, Simthandile Tshabalala, from Johannesburg, South Africa, started competing in major local and international tournaments just last year and has already won over 20 trophies.He has been described as an ace when it comes to golf.
After being nicknamed ‘SimTiger’ by US golf officials following his sterling performance in the World Golf Championship in Malaysia last year, the young chap, who is in the top 15 of world kids’ golf rankings, continues to fly South Africa’s flag high.
He will represent his country at the Australian Open Golf Championships this week, but this almost did not happen after the Grade 2 pupil faced difficulties obtaining a visa.
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His father, Bonginkosi Tshabalala took to social media asking for anyone, including Sport and Recreation Minister, Tokozile Xasa, to help.
Many South Africans rallied behind the boy and the problem was resolved Tuesday after government officials intervened, reports IOL.
The competition takes place from Saturday to Tuesday.
“The championship is a tournament attended by top players from around the world and he (SimTiger) was selected after championships in Malaysia in December,” Tshabalala, who is also the young golfer’s caddy and coach said earlier this week.
Meanwhile, Simthandile, who is excited about the development, said he is looking forward to competing against peers from around the world.
“I’ve worked hard in the past three months preparing for this tournament. It’s going to be difficult but I’ll rise to the challenge,” he was quoted by Daily Sun.
The 7-year-old will also compete in tournaments such as the European Tour Golf Championship in Scotland next month, and the Pepsi Kids Golf Championship in July.
Simthandile started playing golf at the age of 5. His parents had introduced him to various sports such as tennis, swimming, soccer and golf when he was just 2.
“When he was four, he was hooked on golf and he never looked back,” his father said
Many people, especially South Africans have expressed joy over the young boy’s talent and have wished him all the best as he readies to become a World Open champion in future. Here are some of the comments: