December, 31, 2019
Once again, Prima Group Sri Lanka, through its premium bread Prima Sunrise, continues its sponsorship of the most prestigious event in the junior golf calendar, the Sri Lanka Junior Open. This magnanimous sponsorship extended beyond the Sri Lanka Open to sponsoring the various regional junior opens as well in 2020. Prima Group Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka Golf, the national body for golf in the country have partnered over the years providing opportunity for juniors to showcase their talent as well as enabling them to compete at junior national and regional levels. This has paid rich dividends and helped to improve the standard of the sport in the country. Worldwide, golf remains the fastest growing sport and being a sport of skill Sri Lanka has shown many a time to be competitive internationally as evidenced by the gold medals won by the ladies team at the recently concluded South Asian Games (SAG Nepal).
The Sri Lanka Junior Open Golf Championship is scheduled to be played over three days from 6th to 8th January 2020 at the RCGC. It remains the acid test for juniors and the winner of the Sri Lanka Junior Open will be crowned the National Junior Champion in both boys and girls’ categories. The Sri Lanka Junior Open is thus the established benchmark for national rankings of junior golfers. This event will be conducted according to four age group categories as follows; 15-18 years (Gold Division), 12-14 years (Silver Division), 10 -11 years (Bronze Division) and 9 years and under (Copper Division).
The committed sponsorship of junior golf by Prima has been invaluable to the Sri Lanka Golf Union in promoting the sport island wide and this year witnessed increased participation of youngsters from the Kandy, Anuradhapura and Nuwara Eliya regions. The popularity of the sport is growing rapidly thanks mainly due to the focused development programs being carried out by Sri Lanka Golf Union to propagate the sport at the grass root level island wide. This initiative was the brainchild of the Junior Sub Committee of Sri Lanka Golf as a means to identify the nation’s young golf talent with a view to nurturing and developing them for future national and international representation.
Reigning Junior boys Champion Vinod Weerasinghe will be unable to defend his title as he is currently training in the USA. Vinod, the top ranked junior has won this prestigious event thrice. His absence will throw this year’s tournament wide open to the younger talent such as S Dhuwarshan (Nuwara Eliya), Aroon Aslam (Kandy), Nirekh Tejwani and Yannik Kumara of Colombo International School.
Last year’s junior girls’ winner Taniya Minel Balasuriya however will once again be defending her title but will face stiff opposition from the rising star, 16 year old Kayla Perera of Ladies College. It should be a toss-up on the day between these two for the girls’ title and will largely depend on which of these talented youngsters steady their temperament and are able to hold their nerve under pressure.
In the divisional junior categories we are likely to see the Algama brothers Reshan and Keshav as clear favourites. However Thejas Rathis Kanth, C Dharaniyan from Nuwara Eliya and K Danushan and Shanal Binushka from Colombo are also likely to be strong contenders.
This year the three rounds of the championship will be used as preliminary rounds for selecting 1 boy and 1 girl for the British Junior Open to be held in July.
Prima Sunrise, the title sponsor of this tournament, will provide nutrition for the players during the event. The prize giving is scheduled for 8th Jan 2020 at 4.00 PM.
Photo caption: The sponsorship cheque is seen given by Mr. Shun Tien Shing – General Manager Ceylon Agro Industries-Prima Group Sri Lanka and Sajith Gunaratne – Deputy General Manager - Ceylon Agro Industries-Prima Group Sri Lanka, the promotors of Prima Sunrise Bread. The Sri Lanka Golf Union was represented by W.A.K. Fernando – Captain of the Royal Colombo Golf Club and Council Member of Sri Lanka Golf, together with Mrs. Niloo Jayatilake – Chairperson of the Junior Sub Committee and Council Member of Sri Lanka Golf