Former world No.1 Westwood hosts juniors from Emerging World Youth Golf Tour
ENGLISH professional Lee Westwood has got a lot out of the game of golf and he is now firmly looking to give back and help some of the world's future stars after hosting juniors from the Emerging World Youth Golf Tour at Muirfield earlier this summer.
Westwood, who led going into the final day of the Open Championship, took time out earlier that week to spend time with the talented youngsters from the innovative programme. He spent an hour answering questions and passing on advice to the children, who had travelled from countries around the world, including the United Arab Emirates, Zambia, Bulgaria, Austria, Italy and Spain to a ten day training camp in St Andrews.
“I never went to watch any professional tournaments when
I was a kid,” said the former world number one. “The first tournament I went to, I played in, so these juniors have a big advantage over me. They got to go and see how the pros do it, see how a big tournament is run, what goes into it and gauge the atmosphere from there. With this experience, they've really got something to look forward to and aim towards in the future.”
Michelle Smith, a director of the Emerging World Youth Golf Tour, was delighted that the youngsters were able to meet and talk to Westwood.
“Lee gave the juniors a lot of his valuable time before such an important event and it really meant a lot to us.
“He actively listened to and answered every single question, and there were lots of them, and advised the juniors individually on how to achieve their own aims in golf. He couldn't have done any more to make us welcome.”
Being staged for the second time, the Emerging World Youth Golf Tour's programme aims to educate, inspire and provide junior golfers with exposure to some of the world's most renowned coaches and playing professionals.
The 18 youngsters, aged between nine and 18, were at Muirfield to watch how the world's best players prepared for the Open Championship after spending a week in St Andrews benefiting from expert coaching, playing the historic town's courses, and learning more about the origins of the game.
The trip was particularly memorable for Kabir Nanda of the United Arab Emirates after he was named as the winner of the inaugural Ken Schofield Award for Excellence.
The prize identifies the person who is outstanding within the group, demonstrating good results and progress with their golf over the two weeks, and recognises such qualities such as integrity, consistency, good sportsmanship, good work ethic, adherence to etiquette and rules of golf, positive interactions with coaches, other students and staff, on and off the golf course and the potential to develop further.
Schofield told the youngsters: “Every one of you has been a credit to yourselves, your families and your countries - congratulations to you all.
“I hope the experience will stay with you and help confirm your love of golf, and to Kabir, as winner of the first Ken Schofield Award, may I offer further congratulations coupled with my very best wishes for the future. Stay inspired.”