South Africa — Simthandile “SimTiger” Tshabalala, a 7-year old golf prodigy from Johannesburg, South Africa, has recently ranked in the top 15 of world kids’ golf rankings. He started playing competitively only for the past eight months and he already won over 20 trophies locally and internationally, including a second place win at the 2019 Australian Open Golf Championship last week.
Last December, Simthandile represented Mzansi at the World Golf Championship that took place in Malaysia. His excellent performance earned him the moniker “SimTiger” as he was being acclaimed by the US golf officials as the next Tiger Woods.
Bonginkosi Tshabalala, his father who is also his caddy and coach, said he and his wife Bengoka introduced Simthandile when he was just 2 years old to different sports such as tennis, swimming, soccer, and golf, but it was golf that really caught his attention.
“When he was four, he was hooked on golf and he never looked back,” he told Daily Sun.
Last weekend, SimTiger represented South Africa at the 2019 Australian Open Golf Tournament. He initially had a hard time obtaining a visa but the problem was resolved after his father took to social media asking for anyone, including Sport and Recreation Minister Tokozile Xasa, to help.
“I’ve worked hard in the past three months preparing for this tournament. It’s going to be difficult but I’ll rise to the challenge,” Simthandile said before the competition.
He was able to finish great at second place at the prestigious golf tournament. He will also compete in tournaments such as the European Tour Golf Championship in Scotland next month, and the Pepsi Kids Golf Championship in July.