Nirekh Tejwani of Colombo International School (CIS), a student from Mumbai, India and the reigning Sri Lanka Amateur Women’s Open champion Taniya Minel Balasuriya of Sri Jayawardenapura Balika Vidyalaya, emerged overall boys and girls champions at the Prima Sunrise Sri Lanka Junior Open Golf Championship 2019 concluded at the Royal Colombo Golf Course in Rajagiriya [...]


Taniya Minel retains Girls title, Nirekh Tejwani Boys champion

Sri Lanka Junior Open Golf Championship 2019

All winners with guests and offficials

Nirekh Tejwani of Colombo International School (CIS), a student from Mumbai, India and the reigning Sri Lanka Amateur Women’s Open champion Taniya Minel Balasuriya of Sri Jayawardenapura Balika Vidyalaya, emerged overall boys and girls champions at the Prima Sunrise Sri Lanka Junior Open Golf Championship 2019 concluded at the Royal Colombo Golf Course in Rajagiriya on Wednesday.

Three days of competitive golf unearthed quite a few rising ‘future stars’ amidst an enthusiastic gathering and an elegant prize giving ceremony hosted by Prima Sunrise Bread sponsors of the event for the 12th consecutive year.

Over 90 junior golfers ranging from age group 9 and under to 18+, vied for honours in four age group divisions representing Nuwara Eliya Golf Club, Navy Junior Golf Academy Welisara, Victoria Golf Academy, Kandy, Anuradhapura Junior Golf Academy, Shangri La Hambantota Junior Golf and RCGC Junior Golf closely followed and intently cheered by very keen parents and many promoters and well-wishers of golf.

Nirekh Tejwani won his first major title

Competing in the Gold Division for Boys aged 15 to 18, Nirekh was 2 under par in the final round after 14 holes which made him literally only 2 over par for 50 holes of the 54-hole Championship, but probably felt some unwanted pressure and dropped nine shots in the last four holes. Nonetheless, the lanky 13-year-old had enough of an early lead to be crowned Boys Junior Open Golf Champion a further nine strokes clear of the runner-up Yannik Kumara (233) of British School. They were followed by Levon Niyarepola of S. Thomas’, Mt. Lavinia (235) and Himal Randima of Isipathana (269).

“It was a good win. I’m pretty happy with my performance. I could have done better because I practiced a lot and played hard,” said Nirekh who is gearing up to play in the Junior British Open.

A high standard of golf was on show with Taniya Minel Balasuriya, a member of the Sri Lanka women’s golf team that won the team gold medal at South Asian Games 2019 being in sublime form, shooting a three-under par score of 69 and par score of 72 in the second round. A horrid third round of 82 saw her finish with a seven-over total of 223, one better than the boys champion Nirekh. Kalya Perera of Ladies College was runner-up with a total of 231, eight strokes behind the winner. Taniya’s younger sibling Sherin clinched third place (239) followed by Arika Wickramasinha of Ladies College (268).

“My aim is to join the Indian Professional Circuit,” said Taniya, 17, Sri Lanka’s most accomplished junior golfer having been runner-up at the All-India Junior Open, three-time winner at the Sri Lanka International Junior Open in addition to her two titles at the Sri Lanka Amateur Women’s Open in 2017 and 2018.

A definite shining future super star K. Danushan of Springfield College, captured the Boys Silver Division for Age Group Category 12 – 14+ in a canter beating the runner-up Abinev Basker from Bangalore by 16 strokes and third placed Shanal Binushka a further three strokes behind.

Taniya Minel Balasuriya continues her winning streak

Danushan, also teeing-off the Black Markers (same as Gold Division), performed incredibly with a three-round aggregate of 229, four strokes to the good of the runner-up in the older Gold Division Age Group. Danushan’s consistency and an aggregate of 16 over for three rounds off the Black Tee-Markers speaks volumes of his potential, practically playing to a formidable 5 Handicap.

“I could have done better. I did not play well in the first few round. I took time to understand the course,” said Abinav of Delhi Public School in Bangalore North who is participating for the second time in the Sri Lanka Junior Open.

The Bronze Division for Age Group category 10 -11+ Boys and Girls competing off the same Tee Marker, saw the closest tussle in the Junior Open Championship, played over 14 holes per round. Reshan Algama of CIS held his nerve throughout the three rounds but could not relax as Kaya Daluwatte of Ladies College played very courageously stalking Reshan all the way.  However, Reshan did well to hold on to the lead from day one to the final hole in round three and finally beat Kaya by a comfortable six strokes. However, Kaya earned the runner-up berth nine strokes clear of Khvan Tejwani (CIS).

In the Copper Division for Junior Boys and Girls Age Group 9 and Under, Thejas Rathis Kanth of British School held the lead from start to finish to win by seven strokes from Kaiyen Johnpillai of CIS, who was a clear runner-up.

The prize giving was preceded by an excellent video production of the success of Sri Lanka Ladies winning two gold medals at the SAG in Nepal.

“Taniya Minel is the best example of Junior Golf laying the foundation to become great and the next target is to win Medals at the Asian Games coming up in China 2022,”said Niloo Jayatilake, chairperson of Junior Golf Sri Lanka.

Taniya Minel receives her award - Pix by Amila Gamage

Chief Guest General Manager Prima Sunrise Bread Shung Tien Shing said that Prima Ceylon was proud to be associated with the progress and development of Junior Golf over the period of 12 years, watching the juniors grow and flourish as top potential golfers.

President of Sri Lanka Golf Union (SLGU) Rtd. Air Chief Marshall Harsha Abeywickrema, thanked the chairperson of Junior Golf, Niloo Jayathilake, for her untiring dedication to develop junior golf and encouraged all the juniors to believe in themselves and to work hard to achieve success.

Captain of the Royal Colombo Golf Club (RCGC) speaking on the occasion congratulated all the winners and encouraged all the other participants to smile, train hard and come back stronger next year.

Nirekh Tejwani receiving the award from Prima MD, Shun Tien Shing

Avancka Herath, Immediate Past Captain of the RCGC and Council Member Sri Lanka Golf Union, Priath Fernando, Past President SLGU and Council Member, Nishan Navaratne, Honorary Secretary SLGU together with the chief guest Shun Tien Shing and Harsha Abeywickrama, President of SLGU, gave away the numerous awards.

All participants received gift-packs from Prima Sunrise Bread and Certificates of Participation given away by Mrs. Shirani Buffin, the Lady Captain of RCGC. ‘Well-wishers’ Mrs. Shyama Perera, Mrs. Usha de Silva and Pawan Tejwani gave away Special Awards to ‘Future Rising Stars’ at the 2019 Junior Open: H.P. Alokshana Weerasinghe from Anuradhapura Junior Academy, F. Imran of NEGC and Shanal Binushka of D.S. Senanayake College, Colombo received the special presentations.


Sri Lanka Junior Open Golf Championship (Boys) Winner: Nirekh Tejwani 224 [72, 74, 78]
Sri Lanka Junior Open Golf Championship (Girls) Winner: Taniya Minel Balasuriya 223 [69, 72, 82]

  •  Gold and Silver Division (Age 12-18+) Girls (18 holes, 3 rounds)

1.Taniya Minel Balasuriya 223 [69, 72, 82]
2. Kayla Perera 231 [78, 76, 77]
3. Sherin Balasuriya 239 [80, 78, 81]
4. Arika Wickramasinha 268 (89, 85, 94)

  •  Gold Division (Age 15-18+)Boys (18 holes, 3 rounds)

1. Nirekh Tejwani 224 [72, 74, 78]
2. Yannik Kumara 233 [76, 81, 76]
3. Levon Niyarepola 235[82, 73, 80]
4. Himal Randima 269 (91, 92, 86)

  •  Silver Division (Age 12–14+) Boya (18 holes, 3 rounds)

1. K.Danushan 229 [77, 75, 77]
2. Abinev Basker (Bangalore) 245 [85, 81, 79]
3. Shanal Binushka 248 [80, 81, 87]
4. Alokshana Weerasinghe 264 (87, 92, 85)

  •  Bronze Division (Age 10-11+) Boys and Girls (14 holes, 3 rounds)

1. Reshan Algama 178 [60, 59, 59]
2. Kaya Daluwatte 184 [64, 57, 63]
3. Kvahm Tejwani 193 [67, 62, 64]
4. Varun Fernando 201 (66, 68, 67)

  •  Copper Division (Age 9 and Under) Boys and Girls (9 holes, 3 rounds)

1. Thejas Rathis Kanth 133 [46, 43, 44]
2. Kaiyen Johnpillai 140 [47, 47, 46]
3. H. Shenal Nimsith 177 [65, 55, 57]
4. Aradhi Samaratne 194 (65, 66, 63)
5. W.G Induneth 194 (65, 66, 63) (AO)

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