Muscat: Oman is making inroads in the world of golf as junior Omani golfer Rashad Al Harthy recently competed against the best in the APGC Junior Golf Championships held in Taiwan. With the annual championships set to be held in Hong Kong next year the experience was an amazing opportunity for 16-year-old Al Harthy to compete with some of the best juniors in the world.
Competing against the top players from across the Asia-Pacific region over the three-day event, Rashad Al Harthy paired up with Yi-Ting Chou, a female member of the Taiwan junior national team.
Each team in the APGC Junior Golf Championships was comprised of one female and one male golfer with an age limit of 17 years old or under. Over the course of the championship, pairs played varying formats with better ball on the first day followed by foursomes and then finishing off with singles.
Rashad Al Harthy’s experience at the APGC Junior Golf Championships has inspired him to push harder to improve his game.
He mentioned: “When playing against the best it helps me understand what areas I need to focus on to improve. It was clear that I need to focus on my physical fitness as well as the technical aspects of the game. I was paired with a strong female golfer from Taiwan who I learnt a lot from, particularly in course management. I will take this experience and use it to develop into a stronger golfer”
Rashad noted that the standard of golf during the championships was exceptional with the winning team from South Korea carding an incredible ten under par winning on count back over the pair from Thailand.
“I have now been representing Oman for five years at junior level and year on year have improved my game. I appreciate all the support I receive from the Ministry of Sporting Affair, the Oman Golf Committee, the coaches and sponsors like Oman LNG who all have supported me from the first day I picked up a club,” he added.
With the game of golf still relatively new to the Sultanate, the Oman Golf Committee is launching a new school initiative to strengthen the growing golfing population.
The Chairman of the Oman Golf Committee, Mundhir Al Barwani is excited about the future of golf, noting, “We are currently working with schools to introduce golf to their pupils. As a sport golf is second to none when teaching children important life skills. We are keen to make the sport available to all children in Oman and have a clear structure that supports keen young golfers hopefully to the very top. Watching the development of Rashad and his performance at the APGC Junior Golf Championships is proof that we are going in the right direction. Add to this Fahad Al Kitani’s recent participation in the Junior Open in Scotland and we can see Oman’s participation on the international golfing stage only increasing.”