Young golf phenoms go the distance in Sigona playoff thrillers


GOLF Young golf phenoms go the distance in Sigona playoff thrillers

Festus Chuma 20:54 - 23.10.2023

Young golfers shine at Sigona Golf Club, with thrilling playoffs in multiple categories, showcasing their skills and competitive spirit.

The picturesque Sigona Golf Club course was the setting for an action-packed day of playoffs, as young golf talents battled it out in a gripping showcase of skill and determination.

The US Kids Local Tour event at Sigona delivered excitement in six different categories, leaving spectators on the edge of their seats.

In the boys' 12-year category, a fierce rivalry between Amar Shah and Aidan Gachora took center stage, with both players having claimed victory in the past four competitions. Their remarkable consistency was on full display as they both scored 78 points, setting the stage for the day's first playoff.

The drama intensified as Shah and Gachora remained deadlocked even after the first playoff hole. It was Aidan Gachora who ultimately emerged victorious in the second playoff hole, securing his second consecutive tournament win in the US Kids Local Tour.

Gachora reflected on his performance, stating, "I have been playing well lately, I feel really good. This tournament (US Kids Sigona) was probably the toughest because in the front nine I had a tough time. The last tournament (at Vetlab) both nines were quite simple, but this course is much harder, very difficult."

Gachora's win at Vetlab a week earlier had set the stage for an intense showdown with Amar Shah. Both players felt the pressure in the playoff, with Gachora revealing, "I actually missed a four-foot putter for par in the first playoff hole (to win it). The pressure really got to me."

Amar Shah, who had also finished second to Gachora in their previous encounter, acknowledged that while his long game was strong at Sigona, his short game had faltered, leading to multiple frustrating three-putts. He summed up his experience, saying, "I don't know, I couldn't putt today, that is basically it."

In the boys 11-year category, Jeff Kivi, a dominant force in the field, faced a spirited challenge from an improved Shuhan Peng. Both young talents scored 79 points in regular play, setting the stage for another thrilling playoff. Kivi emerged victorious in the first playoff hole, but the competition had been fierce.

Kivi admitted, "The playoff was good, it was not that easy but I tried my best and made my putt." he added. "I fear playoffs because the person I always play with is my friend. I have won most of the tournaments, I was pretty shocked that he tied with me. I know he is improving, and I think I also have to improve."

Shuhan Peng, while recognising his need to improve his long game, expressed his nervousness in playoffs. He said, "I was nervous, very nervous because I have lost all my playoffs. Even today I didn't play well in the playoff, my drive went in the bushes and I couldn't come out."

The excitement continued in the boys' 9-year category, where Ishaan Patel and Jerome Njuguna both scored an impressive 38 points. Patel emerged as the winner after a closely contested playoff.

The girls' divisions also saw their fair share of playoff drama. In the girls' 8 and under category, Irene Asiyo emerged as the victor after a thrilling playoff against Lynette Zawadi, both having tied with a score of 43.

Similarly, the girls' 9-10 years category featured an exciting playoff between Ashley Gachora and Aarna Mengi, with Gachora prevailing in the first playoff hole after they tied on 40 points.

Hazel Kuria secured the girls' 15-18 years category title via a playoff, having tied on 93 points with Cherise Wachira.

The Sigona Golf Club event showcased the incredible talents and fierce competition among young golfers, leaving everyone eagerly anticipating the next thrilling installment of the US Kids Local Tour.