Sunday, 5 May 2002  
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Amrith the draw at "Ole Punch" Junior Grand Prix


Amrith de Soysa, the 15 year old boy who captured the hearts of all those who came to witness the Victoria Golf Tournament two years ago, will be the star attraction at the "Ole Punch" Pepsi Junior Golf Grand Prix starting on the second Wednesday in May (8). SriLankan Airlines will co-sponsor the event.

This Tournament will be conducted over a period of 12 months on the second Wednesday of every month and the Prize Giving will be in April or May next year.

There will be 12 medal rounds played every month and the best 4 Grand Prix ratings at the end of the 12th round will be offered prizes in Groups A and B and there will be two prizes in Group C.

Speaking at the press conference held at the Royal Colombo Golf Club (RCGC) on Friday, President of the Golf Union Shiran de Soysa said that " Fifteen year old Amrith is easily our best junior golfer and recently performed brilliantly at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC), outshining over 100 junior participants from all over India. This is the biggest annual event in India. He also won the category B (under 15) by just one stroke and finished 8th overall (under 18). He defeated the Indian under 15 top seeded junior (Aditya Singh) in both events.

Amrith is the youngest champion at the RCGC Junior Open Championship and he has competed with players much older than him. He is also the Victoria Under 18 Junior champion and the Nuwara Eliya Golf open Champion (Under 15). Trained by the renowned Feroze Billimoria, he as it is with many youngsters the world over, has Tiger Woods as his hero".

Captain of the RCGC, Lalith Ramanayake thanked the sponsors Pepsi for their generous sponsorship and mentioned that they have a number of young budding golfers in Amrith de Soysa and Thuhashini Selvaratnam, who is performing well in the United States and that Amrith is an example of a son who has performed in spite of the fact that his father is not a golfer.

A PGA professional Henk Stephens and his wife Anita from Netherlands were here last year to promote golf among the juniors and at the end of their coaching period they were highly impressed with the progress the children had made in the golf clinic.

Owing to the enthusiasm shown by the youngsters the Professional Golf Association (PGA), introduced the junior handicapping system and recommended weekly competitions and monthly medals to improve the standards of the game", Captain Ramanayake said.

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