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Eagle Mountain boy representing his culture on the golf course

By Jeremiah Jensen | Posted - Sep. 20, 2011 at 10:16 p.m.


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EAGLE MOUNTAIN — A lot of Polynesian athletes fill the rosters at Utah universities and colleges, many in football. But a rising young sports star is hoping to make a name for himself and his community in golf.

Samisoni Fotofili has already won player of the year in his age bracket and competed in the Calloway Junior World Golf Tournament, but golf isn't his priority.

"I started at 4," Sammy told KSL News, "but I never got serious until I was 6."

Now at age 10, Sammy has a powerful swing and a good shot at a college scholarship and even a professional career.

"Sammy's got a special talent. For his age, the sky's the limit," says Tele Wightman, golf pro for The Ranches Golf Course.

But Sammy says his first priority is school and getting a college degree. "Education is more than golf to me," he says.

Sammy's father, Rick Fotofili, grew up in a world far removed from the golf course. Some of his family members are in prison, and he worries about gang violence. He believes education is key to helping Sammy.

Golf is an expensive sport. But Sammy has received a lot of support from his coach and extended family and friends, and he hopes to make his community proud.

"Polynesian culture is important to me because that is who I am, and I respect who I am and other Polynesians," he said.

Sammy says he would like to play on the PGA Tour, but if that doesn't work out he has another career in mind. He says he would also enjoy being a principal.

Email: jjensen@ksl.com

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