Friday, 19 April 2013

Pyle & Kenfig’s Ffion to compete in Asia

A 10-year-old schoolgirl from Tonyrefail is to travel to Indonesia and compete in the World Junior Asian Golf Championships after a fine performance at a rain-soaked Trentham.

Ffion Tynan, a Cwmlai Primary School pupil who only turned 10 at the end of March, carded a magnificent seven-under 66 in the qualifying event to take her place as the only UK golfer to compete in Asia.

She went ahead early and held her nerve in the driving rain to stay in front and stave off all comers until the final holes where she hit a birdie, followed by two pars, to secure her place in Indonesia.

Ffion Tynan at the 2012 Pontypridd Junior Open.

Father Andrew spoke of his pride at his daughter’s achievement, saying: “It’s very stressful at times but right now she is playing to such a decent level.

“Not only did she have to win to qualify, she had to hit a certain score. She did it by nine shots.

“Asia wasn’t in the schedule, we were looking at America. But she was invited to qualify and she couldn’t turn it down.”

The event takes place in Jakarta over the course of a week in June, with 144 players of all ages from 24 countries competing.

Andrew added: “Asian players are generally very good and we will get to see different styles and techniques. She went to America last year and this will be very different.”

It’s the latest in a string of achievements for Ffion. She has been grabbing attention with some impressive performances, including 12 tournament wins last year.

These included the Spanish Open at Under-9 level, the US Kids Las Vegas Tour, the GB & I Golf Society Junior Masters at Under-14 level, and the Miguel Angel Jimenez Trophy, where her score was the lowest of boys and girls at all age-groups – “a very good achievement,” says Andrew. She also hit her first hole in one at the British Golf Masters in Cambridge in November.

“I’m surprised with how well she’s coping. We want her to keep going and doing well,” Andrew continued.

“She’s very mature for a 10-year-old and she takes a lot in her stride. She’s very good and she enjoys it, which is useful as she has to put in a lot of effort practicing to succeed and improve.

“She’s only played since she was seven and some youngsters do so from four of five years. Her progress in a short space of time is brilliant.”

Ffion, who also lists gymnastics among her hobbies and does 10 hours a week to help her strength and flexibility for her golf, plays at both Pyle & Kenfig and the Vale Resort off a handicap of 22.

Clare Morris, Junior Girls’ Leader at Pyle & Kenfig, believes Ffion’s talent and personable character will help her go further in golf.

“When she’s not competing, she plays in friendlies for us,” explains Clare, who will watch Ffion lead the club’s other young girls against Llantrisant on April 28. “She’s great with the girls. Although she’s only 10, she helps them all along.

“She’s always on the course practicing with her dad, she’s excellent. She’s strong minded for her age and determined. She puts so much practice in, which is good to see and she obviously wants to win.

“My daughter played with her recently and Ffion said to me: ‘don’t worry, I’ll look after her’. That’s the type of person she is.”

It will be a busy year for Ffion, as she will be in Scotland in May competing in the European Championships where she finished fourth last year, followed by some big events in America further on in 2013.

Andrew says Ffion has made it very clear what she wants to do, adding: “She’s got a dream to be a pro, there’s no secret there. She now has to commit to it.

“She is under no illusions. There are lots of very good golfers around who are 13 years old or so. If she wants to go for it she has to work very hard.

"In golf you lose more than you win and it's very much about how well you play over the duration of the tournament. We’ve learnt that consistency is the key and that is hard for a 10-year-old. Constant concentration is difficult for three or four hours.

“She always tries to improve, and we have a great time ahead of us this year.”


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