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Play-off decides three-way tie in Karen JGF Spring Tour

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Adam Nesbitt follows his tee during an action packed day.
  • The Karen leg of the Spring Tour was competitive
  • Zianna Kodha won the girls’ category
  • Justin Ngeera won the 13-14 yrs category

The heavy rains pounding parts of the country did not deter determined junior golfers from serving huge portions of exciting competition at the Karen Leg of the Junior Golf Foundation (JGF) US Kids Spring tour on Saturday.

They came out in large numbers and once again the focus went to one of the most competitive categories, the girls 9-10 years old. At the end of regular play, three girls, Ashley Gachora, Zianna Kodha, and Aria Dodhia were tied with a score of seven over par 43.

This then forced a three-way playoff to determine the winner of the day.

In the first JGF playoff at hole number ten, Ashley Gachora was the first casualty as she played one stroke more than Zianna and Aria.

At hole 11, both Aria and Zianna landed in the bunker on their second shots. There was no separating the two who are best friends, as they still tied after the second playoff hole with Zianna winning on countback. Zinna had just landed in the country in the morning and went straight to play at the JGF in Karen.

“I was nervous and scared of what’s going to happen. But I kept telling myself if anything happens, I should feel proud of myself and proud of my best friend (Aria) because we both tried hard to get there; we suffered and we enjoyed it,” said the winner, Zianna Khoda.

JGF Tour proves very competitive


Zianna Khoda in action

For Aria Dodhia, tied for second place with Ashley Gachora was more than she bargained for at Karen.

“It was entertaining and very exciting. It made me a little bit nervous and I felt happy and sad at the end. I was happy because I made it to the playoffs and sad because I missed a very important putt (to win the playoff),” she explained.

Despite the rainy conditions, Adam Nesbitt was in a class of his own in the JGF boys 11 years old category, winning by a clear five strokes. Adam finished with a score of eight over par 80 with his closest challengers Shuhan Peng and Palash Tank a distant second with a score of 13 over par 85.

“Today was quite hard because of the rains and the bad weather. My game wasn’t that good, my putting let me down especially, but everything else was fine. You just need to get very equipped for the rain, know how to play in those bad conditions, and also keep practicing in those conditions to get better when it becomes worse,” said Adam.

For Yolanda Yu, the day was extra special. She celebrated her 14th birthday by winning the JGF girls 13-14 years category.

Nesbitt tied for second


Adam Nesbitt follows his tee

Her score of fourteen over par 86 was three strokes better than Sophia Nesbitt who was the pre-competition favourite to win this category. Nesbitt tied for second position with Nkini Pasha on 89.

“I was really happy. I told my dad that it is my birthday and I’m going to do something on my special day and I’m going to get number one. And there was no reason for me not to get number one because first, I have new clubs, my dad bought me the other day, it is raining and not hot and I like playing here when it is raining because I got all my energy,” said an excited Yolanda at the end of her competition.

Other JGF winners of the day were Justin Ngeera in the boys 13-14 years category, and Kimani Gicheru in the boys 15-18 years category. Simaloi Mbeya was the winner in the girls 11-12 years category, with Shanjana Sharma winning the girls 15-18 years category.

The junior golfers have no time to rest as they move to the Kenya Junior Strokeplay Championship for boys and girls at the Muthaiga Golf Club from the 8th to the 11th of April 2024.

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