here’d been a fire in young Kaito Chiu’s belly, it’s been replaced by a full-blown inferno.
Chiu, just 12, was one of 20 youngsters treated to a clinic by ever-popular US PGA Tour player Jarrod Lyle on the eve of the Isuzu Queensland Open at Brisbane Golf Club.
And while Lyle admired all the kids’ interest, questions and “Happy Gilmore” drives, he was quite taken by Chiu’s game.
As was anyone else watching the local junior whose handicap has slipped from a career-low two recently back “all the way out” to 3.2.
“Kaito really looks like he can play. He has a super impressive swing already and he’s clearly passionate about the game,” two-time Nationwide Tour winner Lyle enthused.
“To have your handicap that low at that age is a fantastic achievement – I hope he can keep going.”
One look at Chiu and you know it won’t be for lack of trying.
And to see the dual Brisbane and Oxley junior soak in Lyle’s advice and just being around a global tour professional was just as clearly having a positive impact.
“It’s so cool to be here with him and see him hit the ball like that,” the polite Chiu said.
Lyle challenged Chiu to meet him back at next year’s Queensland Open with news he had reached a scratch handicap.
“It has inspired me to keep at it, definitely.
“It’s a good target to have … I think I can do it.”
Nobody who saw him swing would be surprised.
For the record, Chiu tried to pre-qualify for this year’s Queensland Open and only a “very nervous” outward nine of 45 prevented a score better than 79.
But his inward 34 shows more than a hint of what’s in store for this bright Queensland prospect.
Photos from the clinic are on the Isuzu Queensland Open Facebook page