Russley golfer Hiroki Miya will take the next step on his quest to become a professional when he begins a scholarship at the University of North Texas.
Miya, 18, will head to the United States in August to attend the division one college at Denton, which is a one hour drive north-west of Dallas.
The former Burnside High School student said North Texas coach Brad Stracke, the world-class facilities, and the fact his friend Cameron Harlock, of Auckland, has also been recruited to play golf at the college contributed to his decision.
Miya recently romped to victory by five shots at the South Island under-19 championship at Harewood – which included a seven under par 65 in the second round. The win, along with holding a 36-hole lead at the New Zealand Stroke Play Championship in February before dropping to fourth, signalled a return to form for Miya. “I had a really good early 2018 and then I kind of had a rough patch, and then improved later in the year, but then I injured my wrist in December, so I was out for a couple of months, which was really frustrating,” he said. “That’s when a lot of tournaments were being played – it sucked.”
Miya said there was something in his swing which caused his left wrist to hurt, and he has been working hard in recent months to resolve the issue.
“It’s about not getting so steep and taking massive diverts because it was putting strain on the wrist.”
Another motivation for Miya was seeing 16-year-old Rangiora golfer Kazuma Kobori’s run of incredible form. Kobori made headlines when he won the NZ PGA Championship last month.
“It’s pretty cool what
Kazuma has been doing and everybody is looking up to him,” said Miya.
I’m just trying to not lose to him . . . I used to always beat him and now he’s playing really well, so it makes me work hard.”
Miya is putting in the hours at Russley before heading to the US. After spending much of his day on the course, he is also working part time on the club’s bar during functions in the evening.