The Kenya boys junior team wound up their assignment on a low note finishing sixth as the girls’ team closed strongly to claim the second runner-up position as the curtains came down on the annual All Africa Junior Team Championship event at the Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort & Spa,
With the boys having finished fourth and the girls fifth in last year’s completion Kenya selected a relatively new-look team for this year’s event with five players making their debut.
The gamble seems to have paid off for the girls as the trio of Belinda Wanjiru, Chanelle Wangari and Audrey Gachora posted a combined score of 662 to finish behind Zimbabwe and winners South Africa. The gulf in class was evident as Kenya’s girls recorded 64 shots more than the South Africans who finished with a gross score of 592.
They started well in the opening round finishing second, 15 shots adrift the South Africans but dropped to third on the second day behind Zimbabwe as the strokes gap widened to 43. Wangari posted her tournament-best round of 79 today to anchor the girls to third position ahead of host Uganda. South Africa’s Kyra Van Kan was the top individual performer with a gross score of 285, while Kenya’s bright spark Wangari finished on 317 gross.
It was a different story for the boys’ team which has been flat all week. A disastrous start in the opening round with a score of 250 saw Kenya placed in position eight, 17 strokes behind leaders South Africa. The boys failed to fire in the second round after posting 238 shots to remain rooted in the eighth position. The team wound up the week on 956 gross, 106 shots behind winners South Africa (850) as Uganda finished second with a gross score of 940 four strokes better than Zambia.
Krish Shah who posted 311 gross (80,77,80,74) was Team Kenya’s best player. He finished 26 strokes behind tournament most valuable player South Africa’s Jack Bauchanan who carded 285 gross. The other players in Team Kenya were Lee Kimathi, Mikael Kihara and Junaid Manji.
The four-day tournament brought together junior golfers under the age of 18 years from 14 countries namely Botswana, Cote de Ivoire, Egypt, Gabon, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The team competition is made up of the best three results per round for boys while the girls’ category uses the top two scores.