Bayleigh Teepa-Tarau Wins Out of the Blue
There are stellar debut performances, and then there is what Bayleigh Teepa-Tarau, 12, did in the golf tournament at New Zealand’s largest national youth sports competition, Sports Illustrated correspondent Patrick Andres writes.
Teepa-Tarau, who is from Tāneatua (where there is no golf course) won the event at the Association of Intermediate and Middle Schools Games in Tauranga despite having played just three rounds of golf in his life.
“The thing I love about golf is hitting my driver,” Teepa-Tarau told Newstalk ZB after his winning round. “I dreamed about coming here and finishing in first place. And I had a lot of fun.”
“I’m so proud of him,” his father, Hemi Tarau, said. “I’m surprised at how well he did because of his autism, but then I’m not surprised. He wasn’t really a sports kid a few years ago but he’s just got right into it now and it has done amazing things for his confidence.”
Original article by Patrick Andres, Sports Illustrated, September 14, 2023.