Junior golfers for Moses Tanui tourney

Wednesday December 5 2018

Loise Akinyi poses with overall nett trophy she won at the  Kenya Junior Strokeplay Championship on August 3, 2017 at Muthaiga Golf Club. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Loise Akinyi poses with overall nett trophy she won at the Kenya Junior Strokeplay Championship on August 3, 2017 at Muthaiga Golf Club. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

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The stage is final set for the inaugural Moses Tanui inter-regional junior golf championship to be held at the nine-hole Eldoret Golf Club from Thursday to Saturday.

Being hosted by the immediate past captain of the Eldoret Golf Club in conjunction with the Junior Golf Foundation (JGF), the event is expected to bring together 36 players from North Rift, Central Rift, Nairobi Region, Coast, Mt Kenya and Western Region.

However, by Tuesday afternoon, only three regions namely North Rift, Central Rift and Nairobi were sure of sending teams to Eldoret for the event, which has to be played in the Ryder Cup format, though one of the tournament committee members John van Liefland, who is also the national junior coach said his committee will have to come up with a different format depending on the number of teams playing.

The Nairobi Region team includes (boys) Zubair Khan, Dennis Gakuo, Simon Ngugi and Steve Orinda and the girls' from Africa Golf Program formerly Rose Naliaka Foundation will be Loise Akinyi, Faith Ontune, Ashley Awuor, Doris Mideva and Caren Anyango (to be confirmed).

The team will assemble at Muthaiga Golf on Wednesday) at 8am, where they will be boarding the JGF bus to Eldoret via Nakuru, where they will link up with the Central Rift team.

Each region will be represented by a team of six players and an official, though in the absence of Coast, Western and Mt Kenya, the three regions may be allowed to field more than one team.

The first round will take place on Thursday, while the second and third rounds are set for Friday, with the final round to be played on Saturday.

According to Tanui, a former Boston Marathon Champion, one of the reasons why he decided to organize the event was to try increase the interest of the game among juniors.

“Eldoret being the home of athletics, golf, is quickly gaining momentum among the youth and the event this week will go a long way to increase the interest particularly among the youth who have not started playing golf yet," said Tanuim who is also the JGF representative in the North Rift.

Usually, there are a number of junior events sanctioned by the JGF most of which are usual held annual in various clubs in Nairobi.

However, JGF has decided from now henceforth that a number of junior events will be spread across the country in order to attract more youth to take the game.

The JGF, a project of the Kenya Golf Union (KGU), was started on October 2, 1995 with the principle objective of promoting junior golf participation and competition for boys and girls from the ages of five to 21 years.

Other responsibilities of the JGF include promotion of the game to juniors in the country and to develop their skills and enjoyment of the game.

Over the past one month, JGF has been engaged in a campaign of soliciting support inform of equipment to support juniors in the various regions, where juniors are interested in playing golf but they lack the equipment.

Besides the golf event at Eldoret, JGF will be registering juniors who are willing to join the as members. Junior membership is Sh1000 per year from where the juniors will be given membership cards.

Those cards will enable the juniors to play golf anywhere in the country by paying a discounted green fee of Sh120. Meanwhile, from Eldoret, action in the junior golf will switch to Royal Nairobi Junior Strokeplay championship from Monday, December 10. The last event in the calendar, will be the Sigona Junior Open being sponsored by Crown Paints.