TANIYA MINEL, YANNIK KUMARA, RESHAN ALGAMA, KAYA DALUWATTE & THEJAS RATHIS KANTH
CROWNED DIVISION CHAMPS IN HAMBANTOTA REGIONAL JUNIOR OPEN 2020
The PRIMA – Regional Junior Open Golf Championship 2020, Sponsored by PRIMA SUNRISE BREAD was played at the beautiful and challenging Shangri-La’s Golf Resorts & SPA, Hambantota, over the 8th & 9th March holidays.
Fifty- six juniors Teed-off in 5 (Five) Age Group Category Divisions and the landscape of junior Golf in Sri Lanka appeared to change a bit with ‘kids’ from Anuradhapura showing rapid improvement within a relatively short period of time.
In the Silver Division Age 12 – 14+ Boys there were 24 juniors vying for honours over 2 rounds of 18 holes each. Reshan Algama promoted to the Silver Age Category on reaching his twelfth Birthday comfortably won the division 10 clear strokes from Musa Sharriff and M. Lidurshan of NEGC tied on 176 followed by Imran Nazeer (NEGC) three strokes further away on 179. H.P. Alokshana Weerasinghe from Anuradhapura finished in 5th place on 182 ahead of Shanal Binushka(183) a former winner of the Copper & Bronze age group category. Another junior from Anuradhapura,G.G.Sankanath Hesara tied with Shanal Binuksha a talented prominent member of his School Cricket Team under13.
Taniya Minel Balasuriya trailing Kayla Perera by one stroke after the 1st round produced a stunning performance of Gross 65 – Five under Par, probably establishing New Course Record for Ladies at the Shangri-La’s Golf Course, to be crowned Champion yet again in the Gold & Silver Age Group Category for Girls 12- 18+ eventually 3 strokes clear of Kayla Perera who had an uncharacteristic 79. Sherin Mithara, Taniya’s sister was not too far away in 3rd place six strokes ahead of Dhevinka Kanag-Iswaran 4th place.
The tough as nails youngster Yannik Kumara dominated the Gold Division for Boys – Age Group Category 15 – 18+ taking a slender one stroke lead in the 1st round from arch rival and reigning Junior Boys Champion Nirekh Tejwani and held on to win the Gold Division by just one stroke. Dimuthu from VictoriaGolf Club earned 3rd place ahead of S. Dhuwarshan of NEGC, a former winner of this Category relegated to 4th place by some up and coming juniors ready to represent Sri Lanka at the senior level.
Kaya Daluwatte was another comfortable winner striding 12 strokes clear of the 1st Runner-up, Kvahn Tejwani who was also well clear of the 2nd Runner-up H.D. Adithya Weerasinghe yet another good prospect from Anuradhapura who was six strokes ahead of the more experienced C. Dharaniyan from NEGC.
Thejas Rathiskanth was in a class of his own in the Copper Division – Age Group Category 9 & under played over 2 rounds of 9 holes each.Thejas’s consistency was proven with rounds of 39 & 43 for a two round aggregate of 82, a cool thirty-one strokes clear of L.G. Anuja Methsara of Anuradhapura
The competitive two rounds of Golf was enriched with the PRIMA SUNRISE BREAD refreshments as the Sponsor of the PRIMA Regional Junior Open Golf Championship 2020 followed by a solemn Prize Giving,
Mr. Tan Ben Chuan – General Manager ofPrima Ceylon ,Mr.Sajith Gunaratne Deputy General Manager Prima Ceylon, Mr.Ricardo Vale – Resident Manager Shangri -la Hambantota and Mr. Prageeth Kumar – Director Of Food & BeverageShangri -la Hambantota represented the Host Club Shangri-La’s Golf Resorts & SPA gave away the prizes. Chairperson MS. Niloo Jayathilaka speaking at the prize-giving “congratulated the Five Age Group Division Champions and commented on the change in the landscape of junior Golf with the excellent performances of the juniors from Anuradhapura”.
The New Course Record for Ladies established by Taniya was yet another feature not to take-away any credit from the excellent performances of every Division Champion, Yannik Kumar, Kaya Daluwatte, Reshan Algama and Thejas Rathiskanth.