- The tight scores in a majority of the age categories are an indication of the tight competition
- The Thika event witnessed four play offs to determine the winners in the girls
The Junior Golf Foundation US Golf Kids series Thika leg witnessed four categories being decided via play offs, an indication of the growth of sport in the junior category.
The tight scores in a majority of the age categories are an indication of the tight competition being witnessed with new winners emerging and some of the juniors now playing in the senior competitions.
A day before the Thika leg of the US Kids Golf on Sunday 7th May, the Limuru Ladies Open was held on Saturday 6th May 2023. Junior golfer Simaloi Mbeya with a handicap 32 won the event with a gross score of 72 points.
She won by one stroke ahead of the pair of junior golfers handicap 15 Cherono Kipkorir and handicap 21 Brianna Ngechu. Cherono also played in Thika and lost in the play offs to Navya Nagda after they both scored 87 gross points in the girls 13-14 category.
“When I was told I’m going into a playoff I was like scared because I have never had a playoff before. But….I’m happy that I won, my first time winning a US Kids tournament,” said Nagda.
Limuru handicap event
Another junior in Limuru handicap 9 Bianca Ngecu was tied for fourth on 74 gross points. Two strokes behind her, handicap 15 junior golfer Cherise Wachira finished 7th with 76 gross points. Cherise played in Thika the next day and lost to Antonia Mbuthia on playoffs after both tied on 93 gross points.
“I was a bit worried going into the play off because I know Cherise is a very good player. So it was you know, a mix of emotions. I feel like there are a few holes I could have played better by far but I’m still glad the play off happened,” observed Mbuthia.
Handicap 23 junior Sarah Mkok was tied for 8th with her junior counterpart Handicap 10 Muthomi Kanana with a gross score of 77 points.
Another junior golfer handicap 11 Maryam Mwakitawa was tied for 11th with 78 gross points. In total, 7 of the top 10 in Limuru were junior golfers.
Ishan Simani won boys category
The Thika event witnessed four play offs to determine the winners in the girls 15-18 category, girls 13-14 years category, the boys under 6 years category and the girls 9-10 years category.
Trevvy Mungai and James Tino were tied on 43 points in the boys under 6 with Mungai winning in the play off. Mohammed Mtsumi was not far off in third with 44 points, just one behind the leaders. Ashley Muyela and Aria Dodhia were tied on 45 in the girls 9-10 years category with Muyela winning in the play off.
The boys 15-18 years category was won by Ishan Simani with 88 points. He won by only one stroke ahead of Kushagra Sharmia on 89 points. Sharmia was also only one stroke ahead of Kiunjuri Mathu with 90 in a tight finish.
“The competition was very tight and I have won here mainly because of consistency. If you are a very consistent player you won’t be making a lot of mistakes. As you can see, people who are very consistent with the scores you will most probably see them in the top three a lot,” said Simani.
More fireworks are expected in the junior events with focus shifting to the Central Rift Junior Open in Nakuru between the 13th -15th of May, then the US Kids Tour at Muthaiga on the 21st of May 2023.