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Little golf prodigy girl guns for Tiger

July 7, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
There's a 5-year-old girl in Orange County who appears to have a bright future in the game of golf.She has yet to start kindergarten, but Amari Avery is already well-schooled in the game of gold.

"I've been teaching golf for about 20 years and done a lot of junior golf, and I have to say it's a lot of talent in a little 5-year-old package," said Kris Olsen, Amari's golf coach.

Amari's story has a familiar beginning: a golf prodigy from Orange County whose father is black and whose mother is Asian. And if that doesn't sound enough like Tiger Woods, Amari and Tiger also share a birthday, December 30.

"I thought about calling her 'Tigress.' But it was just a little joke, just fun, same birthday,whatever," said Andre Avery, Amari's father. "But as time went on the name kind of stuck."

Amari even wears Tiger's trademark Sunday colors. But when talking about her favorite players, there was one large omission. Amari was asked what she thought about Tiger.

"I don't like him because I could beat him," said Amari.

"I think she's going to do for the LPGA what Tiger Woods did for the PGA," said Andre. "Ultimately, that's what she's going to do."

While those are lofty aspirations, Amari started showing her competitive side at age 4.

"She goes, 'Daddy, I want to play against somebody.' OK. And I said, 'Well, why?" said Andre.

"Because I want to beat them," said Amari.

The problem for Amari Avery is finding those kids who she can play against, because at age 5 and a half, she's considered too young to play in most tournaments.

"A lot of people want you to be 7 to play in the tournaments," said Andre. "They want you to be able to hold your own clubs, write your own score, those kind of things."

Kris Olsen was asked about a 5-year-old getting upset after hitting a bad shot. "It's awesome," said Kris Olsen. "It's awesome. That kind of competitive fire -- it's just natural."

And so is Amari's sweet swing.

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