Fresh from competing at the Uhuru Shield golf tournament, the penultimate of Kenya Amateur Golf Championships (KAGC), Zubair Khan has promised to play good golf to claim the inaugural Inter-Regional Junior Golf tournament on par 71 Eldoret Golf club.
Coming from Muthaiga golf club, Khan fired 21 over par Gross to finish 12th overall in the event won by Nyali’s Daniel Nduva in the race for 2019 Kenya Open Golf Tournament. The junior event tees off on Thursday morning, with golfers braving 54 holes in three rounds of 18 holes until Saturday.
“As any other golfer, I am expecting good results at the end of the tournament,” said Khan, a member of the Kenya National team for the 2018 Victoria Cup that retained the trophy for the third year running.
He added that playing competitive tournaments like Uhuru Should strengthens his skills.
“I am not tired after playing 54 holes Uhuru Shield. I am used to playing 54 holes because I have had enough practise and mental strength I have had,” said Khan.
Resident professional golfer Boniface Simwa was optimistic that the tournament will be successful because of the preparations he has done on the course.
“We are expecting a tough encounter now that this is a national event. We have prepared our greens well for the tournament and we expect a tough challenges. This club has the best juniors like Rishab Sagoo who plays handicap four and Kate Navisino who on Saturday won Bayer golf tournament. I have prepared them well for the challenge,” said Simwa.
The national junior coach John Van Liefland was optimistic that the tournament will succeed despite low turn out of the juniors due to school examinations.
“This is a nice tournament for the kids though majority of them are still in school. We wanted a match play but it was difficult since many juniors are still in school,” said Liefland who expects Khan to perform well due to his experience.
He urged for more junior golf development in the upcountry clubs to foster their skills.
“We are hoping for great golfer in future from all the six regions across the country. The upcountry regions have not taken enough time in golf and lack top junior golfers,” said Liefland.
Tanui, the two time Boston marathon champion is confident that developing junior golfers through such initiatives can make Kenya make it to the Olympic Games.
“We have to develop juniors in the country to compete at the Olympic games because golf is an Olympic Sport. I would like to see our juniors playing top golfer like PGA, European Tour among others. Also we have a programme in Junior Golf Foundation (JGF) to develop such talents and we are expecting juniors in schools to have professional golfers and from juniors,” said the immediate club captain adding that the tournament will be an annual encounter that they are setting up a good foundation.