Muthiya first Zambian at US Open

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:34 IST

Madalitso Muthiya fully understands the historic significance of his presence in the US Open.

Mamaroneck: Madalitso Muthiya fully understands the historic significance of his presence in the US Open. He is justifiably proud of being the first person to represent Zambia in this prestigious tournament. Yet he would prefer to focus on his golf game rather than contemplate his place in African lore. "Probably after the tournament I'll realize what a great accomplishment this is,'' Muthiya said on Tuesday. "I haven't fully realized it because I'm trying to compete at the same time. That's why I'm here.'' Career culmination Muthiya, 23, qualified by grabbing one of the top two spots in the sectional qualifier in Columbus, Ohio last week. Playing in the US Open is the culmination of a career which began 14 years earlier in a country he says has 17 golf courses serving a population of nine million. As a 9-year-old, Muthiya took his father's clubs without asking and whacked balls in the yard until he broke a bedroom window. Instead of punishing his son, Peter Muthiya (who died in 2002) got him a set of clubs. "It was just something my dad gathered from different people,'' Muthiya said. "They were like juniors' clubs, ladies' clubs, really light with pink grips.'' At the time, Madalitso also played soccer. But a doctor told him he had bad knees and should give up the sport. So Muthiya set out to improve his golf game, and that ultimately ended his fascination with soccer. (AP)
Topics : Golf Muttiah Muralidaran
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