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Finlay McKechnie, punching above his weight as a golfing star

Finlay McKechnie is a talented, hard working yet humble young golfer who has been accomplishing remarkable things.

He’s one of those kids who gets on with his business and is always striving to do his best, never backing down from a challenge and just recently Finlay was faced with probably his hardest obstacle yet – representing Sancta Maria College in the Auckland Secondary Schools Stroke Play Golf Championship for boys under 19. Finlay is only a Year 8.

He was the youngest competitor in the field of 78 secondary school students at the event in Devonport and just the prospect of being in a competition of its calibre with players 5 or 6 years older than you, can be daunting. But Finlay was able to compose himself and he said that he knew it was going to be a challenge but he believed in his ability and was very proud of himself after he competed as he knew he did the best he could. He also said that it was a very cool experience.

At the tournament the handicap was less than 15 and Finlay’s handicap is 12. In golf handicap is a numerical measure of a golfer’s ability. In stroke play which Finlay participated in, it is used to calculate a net score from the number of strokes taken during the course. So the player who ends up with the lowest score wins due to the fewer amounts of strokes they took.

In this particular tournament there were 18 holes and Finlay scored an 88 on a very difficult course in which he was playing off championship tees. Overall he finished 34th in the nett trophy. It was not only something to celebrate for Finlay but also his family. He especially credits his Dad who first got him into golf at the age of 2, and at 8 years of age he began playing on the course.

He said that his Dad is the one who takes him to competitions and taught him the tricks of the trade, continuing to support him in any way he can.

Finlay is definitely a future golfing sensation. He dreams of one day becoming a professional golfer and making a living out of something he is truly passionate about, and with the amazing support from his family and of course the backing from Sancta Maria College there’s no reason why that dream won’t become a reality.

Shontelle Matano