Keanu, 6, ready to take on world

Published 5:00am 21 May 2024

Keanu, 6, ready to take on world
Words by Nick Crockford

Six-year-old Keanu Samson, from Mango Hill, will soon pack his bags and fly 15,000km for the ‘Super Bowl’ of children’s golf.

Keanu, who plays at Redcliffe Golf Club, has been invited to the US Kids Golf World Championship at Pinehurst, from August 1-3.

He will play in the Under 7 section, over three rounds of nine holes, at the venue which hosts the 2024 US Open Championship next month.

The Mango Hill State School pupil qualified for the trip to North Carolina by accumulating points at tournaments in this country.

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Australian junior championship 2024

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That included third in the Australian Junior Aged Championships, at Royal Pines, finishing on three under par and place fifth in the Australian Masters at Hunter Valley, NSW.

Keanu’s father Mike described the US Kids World Championship as the “super bowl” for young golfers and expects it to be “very competitive”.

“I just hope Keanu soaks in the experience and enjoys himself,” Mike said, “to get an invite has been unreal and he's already made us proud. Anything from now is just a bonus.

“Keanu has worked hard for this opportunity. The mahi (work) he's put in over the last year has been second to none and that's only part of the reason why I'm so proud of him.

“He's grown with the sport and shows that around other people off the course. This is why I think golf is such a good sport for kids.

“There's a lot of life lesson's’ taught ... and thanks to Redcliffe Golf Club they have given us that opportunity to do this.”

Keanu said he is “really happy” to qualify for Pinehurst “because now I can play at the place on the Netflix show!”

That and “playing with my friends who are going over and for my family.”

Over the last eight months he has also stepped up from playing eight holes to 11 in his Redcliffe Junior Clinic against players twice his age.

This remarkable journey began when Keanu went to a driving range and “really enjoyed it”, said Mike, a former semi-professional rugby player.

“His hand-eye co-ordination got better and better. Then he went to a driving range near Brisbane Airport and the coach was impressed by him.”

Keanu plays nine holes with adults “every now and then” but Mike said it was “fun first”. “He has to enjoy what he’s doing.”

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