By Emma Uber
The 2019 U.S. Kids Golf World Championship will feature one of Carmel’s own: Maya Keuling, an eight year old preparing to enter the third grade at Cherry Tree Elementary School.
Keuling is set to join more than 1,500 players from 50 nations in Pinehurst, N.C., to compete for the title of best in the world from their age group. From Aug. 1-3, Keuling will play three rounds of golf against 80 fellow eight year olds.
Keuling began taking golf lessons last year and her love for the sport has developed ever since.
“I saw my mom and dad’s golf clubs in the garage, and I wanted to play because it looked so fun to me,” Keuling said.
Keuling now takes lessons from Scott Steger, a former PGA professional golfer. She practices about four hours per day, and it is this dedication to practice that she and her family credit with her success.
Though she enjoys practice, Keuling’s favorite part of the sport is the competition.
“My favorite part of golf is winning,” Keuling said.
Keuling’s penchant for winning shined through on June 25 when she placed with a score of 44 at the Pennsylvania state invitational tournament, thus qualifying her for the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship. According to Keuling, she felt excited and happy when she qualified, but her goals lie beyond this single tournament.
Eric Keuling, Maya Keuling’s dad, explained that “her goal isn’t always about the specific tournament, she really wants to get better every day. She watches ‘The Short Game’ documentary (on Netflix) and wants to be like Alexa Pano and Amari Avery. She knows that she has a long way to go but she works hard and enjoys it.”