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18 year old Hai Yu Yu dreams big after winning MTN Invitational, keen to represent Ghana internationally

18 year old Steven Hai Yu Yu is still basking in the glory of winning two tournaments this month alone but the High School student is already focused on his next dream, which is to represent Ghana in international golf.

Young Yu, born in Ghana – Yaw being his Ghanaian name – won the GT President’s Putter competition at the Celebrity Golf Club in Sakumono earlier in June and followed it up by emerging winner of men’s Group B category at the 2023 MTN Invitational tournament at the same venue only last Saturday to complete a triumphant month.

Board member of MTN Ghana, Felix Addo presenting the Group B winner’s prize to Hai Yu Yu at the 2023 MTN Invitational golf tournament at Celebrity Golf Club, Sakumono on 24 June, 2023

But even before his recent feats sink in, young Yu goes into battle again this Saturday, July 1 seeking to tame the field in pursuit of the sole ticket for the winners to represent Ghana at an international tournament in Spain later this year.

Set to be played in pairs at the very same Celebrity Golf Club, the teenager is confident to carry the momentum into Saturday’s competiton by teeing to victory with his partner against what will be a very tough field featuring very experienced golfers.

“It won’t be easy because there will be a lot of good golfers all determined to win but I’m confident I and my partner will win it. It will be great to represent Ghana,” Yu told Sportsinghana.com in an interview.

Ladies winner Nadia Kwei-Sam and men Group B winner Hai Yu Yu pose with their prizes at the 2023 MTN Invitational golf tournament held at the Celebrity Golf Club, Sakumono – 24/06/2023

“I’m surprised that I was the winner of the tournament, to me it was pure luck. At the beginning of the tournament, I felt tense, a lot of pressure but as soon we started playing, I was free, not feeling any pressure but I’m still surprised I won,” he added on the MTN Invitational victory.

Beyond winning Saturday’s tournament and representing Ghana, the Ghana International School (GIS) form 5 student who idolises renowned American golf star, Tiger Woods aims to join the international circuit by turning pro one day.

A group photograph of the winners, sponsors and organisers of the 2023 MTN Invitational golf tournament which teed off at the Celebrity Golf Club in Sakumono on 24 June

“I’m expecting to win an international tournament for Ghana, at the right time. I will work hard to bring my handicap down and train more to be ready for my pro career. For now I’m focusing on my grades. When I get free time, I play golf, it’s my hobby,” Yu said.

“I started playing at a very young age because my father, who is also a golfer kept encouraging me. He also started young and he taught me to never give up. Whenever I failed or faced problems like playing a bad shot, I felt like quiting but he was always there encouraging me to never quit,” Yu said.

And certainly giving him all the support and cheering him on of course is his dad, Accra based businessman, Steven Yu who remains steadfastly behind his boy, is taking pride in his recent victories and still has huge expectations.

“I always encourage him to work hard, we always practise together and when he makes mistakes I always urge him to work harder. I wasn’t surprised he won those tournaments.  He has done so well and I wish he can represent Ghana,” Mr. Yu Snr said.

“Golf teaches him a lot for his life, not just about winning. It teaches integrity, honesty, discipline and hard work, it feels me with so much joy that he is improving and getting better,” he added.

Meanwhile, young Steve Hai Yu Yu can’t stop dreaming about a pro career and how special it will be to meet his role model.

“My hero is Mr. Tiger Woods, I always watch his videos, how he plays, how he swings, he teaches me a lot,” Yu Jnr revealed.

“He also speaks to me by just watching him play. He also trains his son, Charlie to become a pro golfer, just like my dad. I can’t wait to meet him when I turn pro, we will definitely meet on the golf course,” the teenager affirmed.

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