Muscat – After a break of almost two years the Oman Golf Association resumed its programme of tournaments for junior golfers this weekend.
As part of its mission to grow the game of golf in the Sultanate the Oman Golf Association identified a lack of playing opportunities for younger golfers, as despite many children taking golf lessons at the clubs in Oman only a small percentage actively played on the golf course. To provide an opportunity to not only compete but also to meet other junior golfers the GOjuniors series was developed.
The 2022 GOjuniors Tour will feature 10 events throughout the year spread around the courses in Muscat where the youngsters will compete in three age divisions: under 18, under 15 and under 13. Although the GOjuniors Tour is aimed at those juniors who can demonstrate a suitable level of ability by way of holding an official golfing handicap index there are other GOjuniors activities planned during the year for those less experienced.
With the necessary safety measures in place Al Mouj Golf was the venue for the first event of the 2022 season with many of the Oman Junior National Team in attendance as well as several players participating in their first ever tournament. The golf course, as always, was in fantastic condition.
At the front of the field were the under 18 players. Despite a disappointing double bogey at the last hole it was Ahmed Al Wahaibi who took top honours in the gross division with a steady round of 78 which included three birdies. Ayman Al Busaidi claimed the best net score (the score with the handicap index taken into account) with a net 75.
Next onto the links were the under 15’s where Adam Al Barwani dominated the gross division to win by a margin of 14 strokes, with Pransh Jagwani claiming the net division with a fine net score of seven under par 65.
Adam’s victory continued a great golfing weekend for the Al Barwani family as the day prior Ghala Golf Club had hosted the annual Kais Celebration Golf Trophy in which Adam’s father Masoud, and sister Huwaida had won the men’s and ladies divisions, Adam himself had finished as runner up to fellow Junior National Team player Faris Al Busaidi. The popular stableford tournament is held annually to celebrate the huge contribution that the late H.H Sayyid Kais bin Tariq al Said made to the development of golf in the Sultanate of Oman. With his passion for golf and youth development it was rather fitting that the winners demonstrated the unique nature of golf where family members, both young and old, male and female can play and compete together.
In an encouraging sign for the future of golf the largest division of the day was the under 13’s. Although the younger players only played the front 9 holes the competition was no less fierce and it took a countback to separate the two leading players, Jacobo Moreno and Krish Pawani, who both scored an impressive gross 40. By virtue of a better last six holes, it was Jacobo who took the best gross title with Krish taking the best net with a five under par 31.
Mundhir Al Barwani, Chairman of the Oman Golf Association is quoted as saying “We are delighted to be able to resume our junior tournaments and we must thank our programme sponsor Oman LNG and partners Sohar Aluminium and Moore for supporting us in providing this opportunity to Oman’s young golfers. Events such as these are essential to grow the game but also provide a great opportunity for social development, after the challenges of the last two years it was great to see the children back on the golf course engaging in some friendly competition”.
The next event in the GOjuniors Tour will be played at Ghala Golf Club at the end of February.