Malik Jawad, 10, poses with the first place trophy he won at the U.S. Kids Golf Tournament Aug. 12. He previously came in second at the event in 2009 and 2010. He has won more than 31 medals in golf, including 10 for first place.
By DANIEL HERATY
DEARBORN – Watch out, pro golfers.
There’s a future star in the making.
Ten-year-old Malik Jawad, who has been playing golf since he was 3 years old, won the U.S. Kids Golf Tournament for Southeast Michigan in August.
The tournament started in 1997 as a way of getting kids interested in golf.
He is no stranger to success at the event – he also took home second place in 2009 and 2010, where he lost to the same contestant who finished second this year. He has played in tournaments and courses across the country, including Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina and Florida, his aunt, Samira Alaouie, said. She said the whole family is supportive of him, and that he has always been good at sports.
“He’s one of those kids who’s very athletic, even at a young age,” she said. “He just excels at sports. She said his father wanted to get him involved in sports, but wanted to sign him up for one in which he wouldn’t risk getting hurt.
“He really likes competing,” Alaouie said. “He used to also play soccer and baseball, and he ended up picking golf.”
Jawad, who is also a brown belt in Karate and a sixth-grade honor roll student at Riverside Middle School, has many accomplishments in the sport, including 10 tournament wins and over 31 medals, including 10 first-place finishes.
She said he has competed in U.S. Kid’s Golf – U.S. Local Tour and the Top junior 50 Tour.
Jawad, who started taking professional lessons when he was 6, can hit the ball off the tee up to 230 yards. When the ball started leaping off his club in long distances, Alouie said his father signed him up with a professional coach, Brian Cairns, who teaches courses at Fox Hills Golf & Banquet Center, in Plymouth Township. Cairns, who competed in the 2011 Professional Golf Association Championship in August, said that Jawad has a lot of heart.
“He’s progressing,” Cairns said. “He’s way ahead of the curve and way ahead of the pace for his age.”
Cairns said that if he continues to develop and keeps up with the natural progression, he could possibly have a future as a professional golfer.
“He understand the concepts and the philosophies that I’ve been teaching him,” he said. “He’s grasping them very rapidly.”
Jawad’s talents lend themselves to more than just golf. He also played baseball for one year in 2008, and the team he was on, Dearborn Heights Diamondbacks, won the Otisville Championship, He is also very active in karate, and has earned a brown belt. Alaouie said even though he mainly practices karate in winter, he has to practice in the summer as a requirement to stay in the classes.
“He tests every month in karate,” she said. “He always passes the tests.”
Jawad said that he was excited to win the tournament, and that it was nice to see that last birdie go in the last hole. He said he started to get interested in the sport from watching the professionals on television, and wanted to concentrate on golf rather than baseball or soccer because playing baseball was affecting his golf swing.
His father said he hopes that the tournament win is only the first step toward something great.
“I love it,” his father, Mouad Jawad said. “I want to see how far he can go with this.”
(Daniel Heraty can be reached at [email protected].)