Rigel Fernandes -Young Mangalorean Golfer Making News on US Shores
USA, Dec 8 (Media Release) : Rigel Fernandes of Mangalore, India wins 4 out of 6 tournaments in the US Junior Tour this academic year, runner-up in other two, HJGT Tour Champion of the year in the 13 – 15 year category.
Rigel Fernandes, a 13 year young golf prodigy from Mangalore is making news in the US Junior Golf League this academic year. In the six tournaments that he has played since September 2009, he has won four and was second in the other two tournaments, an exceptional performance considering that he is one of the youngest players in the 13 -15 year category.
On December 5-6, the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour (HJGT) hosted its season-ending, Golfweek / Titleist ranked Tour Championship at the Saddlebrook Resort in Wesley Chapel, Florida. With over 100 players from 16 countries and 11 states, this was the largest field in the HJGT’s two-year history. Heavy, saturating rains and high winds threatened the tournament, but the players were able to complete the entire 36-holes thanks to the hard work of the course staff. Saddlebrook Resort, which is already a difficult course with many hazards, was made even more difficult with the weather. The juniors endured the conditions and the best players came out on top. In the 13 – 15 year category, Rigel overcame the leaders of the first day with his consistent run of play to beat Chris Sells of Savannah, Georgia by one stroke. At the end of day 1, Rigel was third behind Chris Sells and Bernardo Curbelo of Weston, Florida. However, on the second day, Rigel raised his game on a challenging course with 2 birdies and 12 pars to score 72 and an overall score of 147 for his third victory in the HJGT Series this season. He also won the HJGT IMG Leadbetter Pre-Season Junior Open in September and the Tiger Junior Classic in November.
Rigel also plays in the FCWT league where he won the only tournament that he played this season in Naples Beach, Florida on Nov 14-15, 2009.
Rigel who grew up and picked his sport in Dubai at a young age of six, studies in grade 9 and trains at the IMG Leadbetter Golf Academy in Bradenton, Florida - one of the world’s leading sports academies in the world. Last year, he was voted the ‘Most Improved Player of the Year’ by his academy. He attributes his progress mainly to his coach – Jay Denton who sees tremendous potential in this young kid and encourages him to perform day in and day out.
In the US Kids Teen World Championship held in July 2009 in Pinehurst, Rigel came third in his age category and then qualified for the International Teen Team to play against the US Teen Team where his group won for the World International team. He has already qualified for the next world cup in July 2010 by coming joint 2nd in his qualifier held in St. Port Lucie in October.
Rigel’s tournament results are available online at the respective official web-sites.
For Hurricane Junior Tour -
For Future Collegiate World Tour -
For US Kids Golf Foundation -
While on holiday in Dubai, he plays in the local open tournaments. He played in the Dubai Summer Series this year with some exceptional results and qualified for the finals. However, he could not play the finals as he had to return back to his Academy.
Rigel is the younger son of Ivan and Renny Fernandes, of Ashoknagar Parish in Mangalore but resident in Dubai for the last 13 years. With Golf now voted an official Olympic sport from 2016, it is a huge opportunity for young Golfers like Rigel to play and bring rich laurels to their country.