Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that Samoa “Tony” Mapu Finau was recently selected as one of six male participants representing the United States in the 2004 Junior Ryder Cup at the Westfield Group Country Club in Westfield Center, Ohio on September 11-12, 2004.
The Congressman recently received an invitation to observe “Tony” at this prestigious event. Two teams comprised of six boys and six girls under the age of 16 compete in a Ryder Cup style competition that brings together juniors from both Europe and the U.S. in a biennial contest which began in 1995. The Europeans are the defending champions and have won four of the five competitions. The U.S. team is selected from the top six finishers of the 2004 Callaway Golf PGA Junior Series/ Westfield Junior PGA Championship according to the points system.
“A couple of months ago, Tony came in second in the Utah State Junior Amateur Championship defeating participants that are in the collegiate level. I have every reason to believe that this young man is definitely PGA Tour caliber. He can easily drive the ball 300 yards and is very cool under pressure,” Congressman Faleomavaega said.
“Also, his younger brother who is only a year younger, Tonga “Gipper” Mapu Finau, is just as equivalent in skill as his older sibling. I definitely believe that the Finau brothers will be a powerhouse to reckon with in the future at both the collegiate and professional levels. Right now, every collegiate program is keeping an eye on these two young boys,” Congressman Faleomavaega said.
“And the same could be said for other young Samoans, both male and female. This is why I am hopeful that Samoan parents will encourage their sons and daughters to pursue golf as a sport. I feel this sport will provide scholarship opportunities for our youth to further their education and it will also build self-discipline. I honestly believe that we have a future Tiger Wood and an Annika Sorentstam out there but it is about creating the atmosphere and proper guidance for our youth to grow in this sport. Given the fact that Vijay Singh was recently ranked the number one player in the world, we as Pacific Islanders have the potential to be the best in the world.”
“I want to take this opportunity to congratulate all participants in this year’s Junior Ryder Cup and I wish each team the best of luck and pray for a safe and fun tournament. Once again, I also congratulate and commend “Tony” Mapu Finau for representing American Samoa in this prestigious event,” the Congressman concluded.