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Champions crowned in JGF US Kids local tour

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JGFA74A8722 Meishan Wang scaled
Meishan Wang in action
  • The Championship concluded at the Muthaiga Golf Club
  • There were seven rounds of the series
  • Next up for the kids is the Faldo Series Kenya Championship

The Junior Golf Foundation US Kids golf season concluded at the Muthaiga Golf Club after seven rounds of the season that saw the junior golfers compete at Vet Lab Sports club, Karen Country Club, Royal Nairobi Club, Sigona Golf Club, Thika Sports Club, Karen Country Club and Muthaiga golf club which was the tour championship played on Sunday.

Some age categories were decided long before the tour championship with some juniors dominant all through.

But then there was excitement in some age categories that went down to the wire and were decided by the championship in a winner takes it all competition.

In the girls 15-18 years category, the battle was between Hazel Kuria and Antonia Mbuthia. Going into the Championship, Antonia was ahead with 130 points from three wins and two second place finishes. Hazel was second with 125 points from three wins, two second place finishes and a third place finish in Thika two weeks ago.

In the championship, the two played together for the first time, alongside Cherise Wachira. Hazel proved to be the best in Muthaiga finishing first with an impressive score of 82 to collect the first position 60 championship points. Antonia Mbuthia finished second with a score of 98 to collect 40 points with Cherise in third with a score of 100 to collect 30 points.

“It was a very tense game, very tough match…from the first shot I think we just said hi, a few good balls here and there , a few good chips, but there was no conversation between us throughout our round,” Observed Hazel.

Chipping and putting were key 

Ewan Van Niekerk

Ewan Van Niekerk follows his tee

“I won because of my chipping and putting which really helped me. Even though I was three on for some holes, I was still sinking that six-footer, if I was having a blow up, I would still chip once, sink that putt, and yeah, my chipping and putting helped me a lot,” explained Kuria.

For Antonia, other than the tension, this was just a bad day on the course. Her confidence level was very low on a big match day.

“I think when it comes to playing golf you must have confidence, and if you don’t, your day turns upside down,” she explained.

In the boys 15-18 years category, it was a three-way fight for the championship between Ishan Samani, Junaid Manji and Ewan Van Niekerk. Going into the championship tournament, Manji was in the lead with 107.5 points and Ewan and Ishan were tied on 100.5 points in the second place. The three played together with the players trying hard to outdo each other with every hole played.

Junaid Manji brought his A game to the championship, playing an impressive 76, his best score in the Local Tour to grab the 60 points for finishing first. Van Niekerk held his nerve to finish second, playing his best of 83 points for the third time in the tour to collect 40 points. Samani settled for third but only tow strokes behind with a score of 85 to collect 30 points.

“Yesterday I struggled at Karen (scored 85 points to finish third) but I still had fun however. I t was a challenging course that I’m not used to. Today (Sunday 21st) I tried my best and it was my home course, so I knew the course well, and I just played my best,” said Junaid.

Won the game in the back nine 

Aidan Gachora and Justin Ngeera

Aidan Gachora and Justin Ngeera on the course

He says he won the game in the back nine.

“My chipping and putting in the back nine was very good, I saved a lot of pars, even got a birdie out of the chipping and putting. There is a lot of competition in my group, it is not like today was a free ride either. I had to fight for the win against my two playmates Ishan and Ewan. Somehow, I got the win and I thank God.

In other categories, Mwathi Gicheru beat Justin Ngeera and Aidan Gachora in the championship to win the boys 12 category with 182 points, followed by Justin with 152 points and Aidan with 149 points.

In the girls 13-14 years, Cherono Kipkorir won the championship to finish at the top of the pile with 160 points followed by Navya Nagda with 145 points and Imani Njoki with 126 points.

Next up for the junior golf players is the Faldo Series Kenya Championship from 2nd June to 4th June at the Karen Country Club.

The US Kids Fall Local tour will then commence in August.

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