Golf: Teen off to Olympics

By Peter Thorley

Sean Masters' golfing game is really taking him places.

The Kaitaia 17-year-old's natural ability with a golf club has seen him selected, along with fellow Northland teammate Kadin Neho, into his first national squad.

He will represent New Zealand at the Junior Olympic Games in Sydney in January.

Masters is thrilled to have made the team, which shows that his recent good form has been noticed by others further afield than his Northland home.

"It was awesome when I heard, it's going to be a big event with athletes from all over the world and a bit different from your normal kind of golf tournament," he said.

Masters moved to Whangarei to attend Whangarei Boys' High School at the beginning of last year to concentrate on his golf and credits the move for improving his game.

He is one of an emerging talent pool - a "brat pack" of young golfers - who are all pushing each other to greater things.

"There is a whole bunch of us who always practise together and it's made a real difference having guys with the same skill level to practise with - it helps your game and you're always picking up little bits of knowledge from them."

Masters was an integral part of the Whangarei Boys' High School team that won the national secondary schools' title earlier in the year at the Waipu Golf Club.

He was selected as the province's top junior golfer of the 2012 year and he is poised to take that form into the Toro National Interprovincials in Dunedin in just over a week's time.

He will play at number four.

"I know most of the guys I'm going to play at the tournament, we've all pretty much come up against each other before at some stage, so the result will depend on more than just how you're hitting the ball," Masters said.

Northland selector Roy Pelsky said Masters had improved a lot over the past year and had the right kind of temperament to succeed.

"He's been on the Northland scene since he was 12 but in the last 12 months or so he's really come on, mainly by showing the kind of consistency that's really beyond his years," Pelsky said.

The New Zealand team to attend the Youth Olympics in Sydney includes rising Waikato stars Compton Pikari and Nick Coxon and Canterbury's Jason Yoo.

- Northern Advocate

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