Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 13th 2018 Contents sports A7
Friday, April 13, 2018
Tobago-born athletes Semoy
Hackett and Akeem Stewart fin-
ished outside the medals for the
Trinidad and Tobago contingent
at the Commonwealth Games in
In the latest event, Hackett fin-
ished seventh in yesterday’s wom-
en’s 200 metres final in a time of
23.16 seconds for seventh spot.
Hackett actually crossed the line
eighth but Jamaican Shashalee
Forbes was disqualified and the
T&T sprinter was promoted.
Hackett also had the seventh fast-
est time heading into yesterday’s
final after 22.97 in the semis.
The Bahamas’ Shaunae Mill-
er-Uibo took gold in 22.09 sec-
onds, Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson
silver (22.18) and England’s Dina
Asher-Smith the bronze in 22.29.
Stewart meanwhile finished
ninth in the men’s shot put final
with a best throw of 19.10 metres.
However, he said he was thankful
for the experience. The World
Para Athletic Championships
gold medallist managed to throw
19 metres consistently during the
qualifying and final.
Another Tobago-born athlete,
Renny Quow was unable to ad-
vance to the men’s 400m final.
From humble beginnings at Bot-
tom Road, Bethel, one of Tobago’s
most promising sportsmen is now
creating a name for himself in the
international golfing arena.
At the tender age of eight, Sam-
uel Cudjoe declared his intention
to his parents.
“I am going to be the next Tiger
Woods,” he said then.
Years later with the help and
guidance of his coach and mentor
Fitz Neptune, Cudjoe made the
tough decision, at 14, to leave his
parents and pursue that goal in
the United States.
At their Bethel home, Peter and
Stephanie Cudjoe beamed with
pride as they spoke about their
son, who began playing golf at the
tender age of three.
For Peter, his son was a “nat-
ural” as a caddy at the Mt Irvine
“When I started training Samuel
in our backyard he instantly took
to the game and he never left,” he
Samuel participated in many
golf competitions in Tobago and
in 2011 his entry into a tournament
organised by the Tobago Junior
Golf Academy, run by Neptune,
gave him his much-needed break.
Neptune had invited coaches
from the CORE Golf Academy in
Florida to the tournament. The
scouts saw Samuel’s potential and
asked that he be sent to the acad-
emy for a training camp. Samuel
participated in the same golf clinic
for two consecutive years.
In 2014, he made the leap from
camp to campus and transferred
from the Scarborough Secondary
School to the Heritage Academy,
which allowed him to balance
school and his training at its affil-
iate—the International Junior Golf
Academy in Florida.
Before he could leave Tobago
and train aboard, his mother
needed to let go. She knew when
he was ready to leave.
“When he came back from the
golf clinic Sammy’s perspective
had changed. He was more de-
termined to make the move, we
could and not stand in his way,”
his mom told Tobago Today.
And Samuel has made his par-
Last year he graduated with a
high school diploma. He is now
a freshman at the Saint Augus-
tine University in North Carolina,
where he is pursuing a Bachelors
Degree in Sports Management
with a minor in journalism and
playing golf for the school. Since
relocating, Samuel has recorded
three first place and one-second
place titles in golf tournaments.
Last month, he won the Central
Intercollegiate Athletic Associa-
tion’s (CIAA) Southern Division
Golf Tournament at Pine Hollow
Golf Course. Cudjoe shot a two-
day score of 138, including a 65, to
win low medallist honours and led
the Falcons to their highest finish
in the tournament (third) since
the university brought back golf in
2015 after a two-year hiatus.
Speaking about Cudjoe’s perfor-
mance in the tournament to CIAA
media, SAU coach Julius Wells
said: “He has already exceeded
my expectations. What sets him
apart from nearly every golfer in
the tournament is his mental ap-
proach to the game. He knows how
to block out distractions and focus
on what he needs to do. To shoot
65 in the conditions he played in
Monday was pretty amazing. It
was cold and the course was soft
and not getting a lot of rolls, but
he still made puts. This guy has a
future in golf.”
Speaking about his own perfor-
mance, Cudjoe said: “I want to say
thanks to my team and my coach
for believing in me. I am here to
make our team better and put us
on the map.”
But it’s not easy supporting
Samuel financially. Stephanie said
it has been “very challenging.”
She said they struggle to purchase
basic equipment such as golf clubs
to keep him on top of his golf train-
ing still. But they are determined
to find a way to help him fulfil his
In return, he has showered
them with love. He communicates
with them several times a day and
keeps them updated on his activ-
Samuel is determined to be the
next Tiger Woods.
next to some
of his trophies
and awards at
Samuel Cudjoe shows
off his low one-round
score during last
month’s CIAA Southern
Tournament at Pine
Hollow Golf Course.
Cudjoe shoots into limelight
Bethel boy scorches collegiate golf field
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