Our first tournament of 2022 went along seamlessly. I had most participants checked in 30 minutes in advance and many of them also took the time to warm up before their tee time.
Our first group led off with the advanced players starting on hole number one from the blue tees. Advanced groups will continue to play blue tees moving forward this year. We saw some great drives off the first tee from this group. As the advanced group played along, one player unfortunately lost his ball amongst the tall grass and trees. Justin would then go back to the fourth tee box and hit a provisional ball. Due to the time constraints his first tee shot was not found in time and was forced to play his second shot, his third stroke, off of the tee. The Ibrahim sisters would take the lead around the end of the third hole and steadily increase that lead until the end of the tournament by maintaining low scores. Roman Luque would come in third place with a final score of +6 and the Ibrahim sisters would score +3 for Siham and +2 for Selma.
Kaizen had a large group of intermediate golfers of all ages. Younger participants would play from tee box lengths that were designated by U.S. Kids golf. Anyone of high school age would play from blue as boys and white as girls. Our intermediate group would be overwhelmingly swept by our younger participants which indicates that even the U.S. Kids tee box yardages are not comparable to that of our older players. Some adjustments will be made moving forward to make comparable difficulty levels as even as can be. Regardless, players moved forward hitting great shots. I personally got to watch Tiger Tsai chip over the green on hole number 3, not a hole that you want to miss long on. Not only did he maintain his composure, Tiger went on to provide an accurate face angle chip which allowed his ball to rattle on the pin and down into the hole for a par. I also saw some great drives from players like Ryden Yamamoto, Jackson Paul and Mila Chiampa. Mateo and Gemma Luque were some of our youngest competitors. Young, however, does not mean weak. Mateo and Gemma came out swinging maintaining a steady score average amongst the holes they played. I watched each of them hit some tremendous shots and look forward to the whole Luque family participating more in the future.
Our beginner group was not as full as it has been in the past. Winter sickness, travel schedules and school events meant some of our regular players were not at this event. Nevertheless, Sunday saw an increased amount of skill brought forth by Adam, Tensley and Gavin. With only three entrants they would each go on to take a pole position. Tensley has now outshined her competition on a few occasions, and it may be time for her to play a layout that will challenge her more.
Moving forward, Kaizen Prep Tour will continue to increase in size and competition. As it does, more divisions will be available to the younger entrants so that they can play with similar skilled individuals. Thank you all for participating!
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