The fifth leg of the US Kids Local tour by the Junior Golf Foundation at Vetlab sports club saw a significant turnout of golfers, including those on the waiting list due to the tournament being oversubscribed.
Regina Gachora, the president of JGF, expressed optimism about the progress in junior golf. She pointed out that juniors are continuously improving, evident from their tournament results. Parents have witnessed their children who initially scored in the mid-60s and 60s now achieving scores in the 40s. Those who used to play in the 50s are now breaking into the 30s. This improvement has given them the hope of qualifying for international tournaments, providing a clear pathway for their development.
The high number of participants has led to intense competition across all age groups. Securing a podium position in these tournaments is no longer guaranteed, as new talents have emerged, and the competition has become more challenging and exciting.
The JGF president encouraged junior players to practice diligently and participate in as many tournaments as possible, as this has been a driving force behind the growth of the sport among juniors.
She also highlighted the global recognition that Kenya is receiving in the golf world and predicted that many junior players would become scratch golfers (shooting par or better) in the next three to five years if they continue practicing and participating in tournaments.
Furthermore, the winners in various categories now consistently achieve scores below 40 in US Kids tournaments, with the ultimate goal being for them to consistently play at or below par (36) by the age of 10.
Regarding the results at Vetlab, the competition was most intense in the boys and girls 13-14 age group. In the boys’ category, Mitansh Thacker emerged as the winner with a score of 40 (+4), followed by Nehemiah Dinkins with a score of 44, and Tsevi Soni in third place with a score of 45.
In the girls’ competition for the 13-14 age group, Marya Nyambura secured the victory with a score of 54. Imani Njoki and Yolanda Yu tied for second place, each with a score of 58.
In the boys under 12 category, Aidan Gachora showcased an impressive performance with a score of 40, winning the competition and surpassing the previous leg’s winner, Amar Shah, who scored 42.