Sixteen-year-old Vinod Weerasinghe of the British School in Colombo, who is the current top-ranked male junior golfer, carded a superb 6 over par in tough course conditions for the two rounds of the Kandy Regional Junior Open Golf Championship held at the picturesque Victoria Golf & Country Resort.
The effect of the prevailing drought on the fairways and the hot humid conditions made strokeplay difficult for the young golfers, many of whom struggled. The long-driving Armand Flamer-Caldera of S. Thomas’ College, last year’s winners, struggled unusually on the slick greens and had to settle for second place with a 17 over par for the two rounds. They were closely followed by T. Akash and Januka Dilshan, both of whom carded a gross score of 164.
In the girls’ division, young Kayla Perera of Ladies’ College outshone the rest of the field with gross scores of 82 and 80 over the two days. Anelka Desinghe of Asian International School came second, playing fluid golf with scores of 96, 85 whilst Iman Sangani of Colombo International School, who had a good first round of 89, fell away with a 93 on the second day and had to settle for third place. Top-ranked female junior Taniya Balasuriya struggled to find her rhythm, failed to impress and had to settle for fourth place with scores of 105 and 82.
In the Silver Division (age group category 12-14 years) playing 18 holes, the experienced S. Dhuwarshan of the Nuwara Eliya Golf Club had a comfortable win playing consistent golf over the two days with an aggregate score of 167. Both Haroon Aslam and Dilshan Malinda were tied on 177 but Haroon just managed to bag the second spot on the count back. K. Danushan with an aggregate score of 179 came fourth.
The Bronze Division (age group category 10-11 years) played over 14 holes saw long-hitting Nirekh Tejwani securing the top spot with a total score of 126 over Shanel Binuksha with a total score of 144 over the two days.
Nuwara Eliya Golf Club juniors M.S. Sanjay with a score of 150 and M. Lidurshan with 152 took third and fourth places respectively. A vastly improved standard of golf in this age group was evident from the performance of the juniors from the NEGC junior development program who are showing great promise. In the Copper Division (Age Group 9 and Under) played over 9 holes, Kvahn Tejwani won by five shots with a score of 84 and took this most junior category win in style. Reshan Algamacame came in second with a total score of 89 following a sparkling performance on the second day. Tiny budding golfer C. Dharaniyan of Nuwara Eliya with a score of 95 and Keshan Algama with a total score of 105 managed to grab the third and fourth places respectively.
The event was conducted by the Sri Lanka Golf Union and sponsored by Prima Sunrise Bread. The awards were given away by Dr. John Scarth - SLGU Junior Subcommittee member, Asela Wewita - General Manager Victoria Golf and Country Club and Ken De Alwis - Secretary of the Sri Lanka Golf Union.
The next Regional Junior Open will be played in Nuwara Eliya from 9-10 September.
Gold Division (Age Group 15-17 years)
Vinod Weerasinghe 152
Armand Flamer Caldera 163
T. Akash 164
J.K. Januka Dilshan 164
Gold/Silver Girls Division (Age Group 15-17 years) and (Age Group 12-14 years)
Kayla Perera 162
Anelka Desinghe 181
Iman Sangani 182
Taniya Balasuriya 187
Silver Division (Age Group 12-14 years)
S. Dhuwarshan 167
Haroon Aslam 177
Dilshan Malinda 177
K. Danushan 179
Bronze Division (Age Group 10-11 years)
Nirekh Tejwani 126
Shanal Binuksha 144
M.S. Sanjay 150
M. Lidurshan 152
Copper Division (Age Group 9 and under)
Kvahn Tejwani 84
Reshan Algama 89
C. Dharaniyan 95
Keshan Algama 105