The next Tiger? Kauai youth claims Junior tourney

Taylor Viquelia, an 8-year-old golfer from the Westside, took first place in the 7-year old category of the Hawaii State Junior Championship Golf Tournament held at Waikoloa Golf Village on the Big Island on June 9-10.

The young golfer finished nine strokes better than her closest competitor, and now qualifies to compete in the World Junior Golf Championship set for July 14-16 in San Diego.

Her parents are Robin and Melony Viquelia.

Robin works at the cart barn at the Kiahuna Golf Course, and as a Security Guard at the Poipu Kai Resort.

He began taking his daughter with him while he golfed.

“She was about 2 or 3 years old and she wanted to swing the club while I was playing,” he said.

“Pretty soon, she was hitting the ball really good. Her mom and I decided that we would let her develop her skills at her own pace. I give her a few pointers and she had a golf lesson, but pretty much she has learned by mimicking good players.”

Melony Viquelia is an indoor landscaper for the Hyatt Hotel.

She says she is proud of her daughter for many reasons.

“She will be going into the third grade at St. Theresa School,” her mother said.

“She is a good student. She scores about the national average in reading and math. She also is a good girl. We want her to be a girl with manners and who is kind to people. That is the most important thing.”

The next challenge for the parents is to come up with the $2,500 needed to fly Taylor and her father to San Diego in July so she can compete in the national tournament.

“With airfare, hotel, transportation, etc. it is an expensive trip,” Robin said.

“But it is worth it for her future.”

If you are interested in making a donation to help with the costs of Taylor attending the World Junior Golf Championship, call 742-1875.

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