Congressman Faleomavaega today congratulated and commended two up-and-coming junior golfers from the State of Utah, Naomi Soifua and Samisoni Fotofili, for their dedication and outstanding accomplishments in the sport. Both golfers, who have competed on the state, national, and international levels, have attracted a great amount of interest with their amazing talent, especially at such a young age.
Naomi Soifua, 12 years old
Naomi Soifua gave her first shot at golf after following her father, Mapu Soifua, around the golf course at age seven when she was only in the second grade. After begging her father to let her take swing, Naomi was granted her request and has not stopped playing golf since.
Naomi entered the competitive golf scene at age eight. For three years (ages 8, 9, and 11) she qualified to be one of two representatives for the State of Utah at the Callaway Junior World Golf Tournament in San Diego. She also entered the Utah Junior Golf Association (UJGA) at age aight, winning the Utah State Junior Match Play two years in a row.
At ten years old, Naomi played in her first-ever Utah Women’s State Amateur Tournament, becoming the youngest player in the tournament’s history. The following year, she became the UJGA 2010 “Player of the Year” in her division, playing up with 16-18 year olds.
Naomi played her most recent three golf tournaments in the men’s division where she shot from the “black tees” (farthest distance) along with the other players, enthralling them with her amazing talent. At twelve years old she can drive the ball approximately 280 yards. When she was only nine years old, Brigham Young University approached her to see if she would join their golf program when she graduates high school. She hopes to take up BYU on their offer and become a professional golfer. On June 1st, she will enter to qualify for the U.S. Public Links Tournaments, a tournament of top amateurs in the nation.
Naomi is the daughter of Mapu Soifua of Mapusaga Fou and Camilla Lealaitafea Soifua of La’ie, Hawaii. Her paternal grandparents are from Samata, Samoa and her maternal grandparents are from La’ie and Salagi, Samoa. She currently attends the 6th grade at Majestic Elementary School in West Jordan, Utah.
Samisoni Fotofili, 10 years old
Samisoni’s passion for golf began when at four years old when his grandfather, Halaapiapi Fotofili, would take him out to the golf course with his golf buddies. His grandfather later enrolled him in lessons at age six and later in the Drive, Chip, and Putt program.
Samisoni entered his first tournament at eight years old. Coached by his grandfather, father, family, and friends, Samisoni met with great success during his first season in the Utah Junior Golf Association. He placed 3rd in his very first tournament and won 1st place overall for the 2009 season as well as “Player of the Year” for the 7-8 age bracket.
At nine years old, he entered the Junior World qualifier and was one of two junior golfers in his division to represent the State of Utah at the Callaway Junior World Golf Tournament in San Diego, competing with junior golfers in his division from over 15 states and 25 countries.
Currently he is in his second spring season with U.S. Kids Golfing. Though Samisoni is a well-rounded athlete, also excelling in football, his first love is golf. His future plans and goals are to serve a mission, play golf at Stanford University, and become a professional golfer.
Samisoni is the son of Rick Fotofili, from the village of Mu’a, Tonga, and Lavinia Hunkin Vanisi, from La’ie, Hawai’i. His paternal grandparents are Halaapiapi and Lineti Fotofili and his maternal grandparents are Similati and Tui Vanisi. Samisoni currently attends the 4th grade at Westland Elementary in West Jordan, Utah.
“I am so thrilled to hear the news of these two talented junior golf stars, Naomi and Samisoni, and it is always a pleasure to share the accomplishments of our young prodigies with the greater community,” Faleomavaega stated.
“I commend both Naomi and Samisoni for their outstanding accomplishments in the golf world at such a young age. I also commend their parents, Mapu and Camilla Soifua and Rick and Lavinia Fotofili, as well as their grandparents, for their dedication and support. We’re definitely going to hear from Naomi and Samisoni in the years to come,” Faleomavaega concluded.