KUALA LUMPUR: At just nine years old, Ezekiel Riz Hafi Suzearitz has qualified for the USKids Golf World Championship twice.
But he has not realised his dreams of playing on the world stage due to lack of funds.
After emerging second behind Australian Eli McGrath, at the Australian Open earlier this month, Ezekiel has a ticket to the World Championship in August.
Despite the funding issues, his father, Suzearitz Suhimi remains optimistic that Ezekiel will get the chance.
“This will be his second time qualifying for the World Championship. The first time he qualified, he didn’t go because of budget problem.
“If he goes, his target will be top 15 and who knows, he might just win it. He will be up against kids that are bigger than him,” said Suzearitz, who is a lawyer, and is joined by his wife, Wan Juhrah Muntek, at their own firm in Bangi.
He said his son’s determination is the main factor behind him qualifying for a second year.
“In Australia, it was a great comeback story because after day one, he was eighth, then everything went wrong and he wasn’t playing like himself. He was so sad, he didn’t talk for two and a half hours.
“Then, he came to his mother who gave him advice and the next day he played like a champ, missing only one green and making a mistake only on the last hole where he three-putted,” said Suzearitz.
Ezekiel, a student of Sekolah Jalan 3, Bandar Baru Bangi, also played in the European Championship in 2016 where he finished 18th in his debut in the United Kingdom under freezing conditions.
Ezekiel, who started playing golf at the age of five, has won 12 times on the SportExcel circuit since 2016 with two grand final wins to his name.