Amidst Big-Match fever, International Cricket and a busy month of School’s Rugby activity, the Sri Lanka Ladies Open Amateur Golf Championship 2017 and the Sri Lanka Ladies Open Stroke-play Championship will be played at the RCGC concurrently from the 6th – 11th of March 2018.
The ‘dual’ Golf Championships have attracted entries from Pakistan, whilst India’s and Bangladesh’s confirmation is pending.
Tiru Fernando, 4 time winner of the Sri Lanka Ladies Amateur Golf Championship (1971, 73, 74, 75), the Ladies Stroke-play Championship 1975 & 1979, the All-India Ladies Amateur Championship in 1973, 74, 75,79, 80, 1st Thai Open Champion 1980, Hong Kong Open Amateur Champion 1980, notably Utah State Amateur Champion 1977 & 1978, before turning out in the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association) Tour, making history for Sri Lanka as the only Sri Lankan Lady to have played professional Golf at the highest level in the US and in the European Tour. Tiru’s top performance was being 3rd Place in the British Amateur Stroke play Championship in 1979.
The Ladies Strokeplay Championship 2017 has been revived after 3 years thanks to new Sponsors, “The Abhayaratne Family” in memory of the Late Malin Abhayaratne, past President of the Sri Lanka Golf Union. It is also significant since Mrs. Yvonne Abhayaratne herself has won the Championship on 05 occasions. The list of past winners include Legendary Guinness World Record Holder Mrs. Pam Fernando (Oldest to Win a National Title), Sweneetha Selvaratnam (Thuhashini’s mom), Tiru Fernando, Anouk Chanmugam now Chitty, Oosha Chanmugam, Thuhashini Selvaratnam, Jackie Dias, Niloo Jayathileke.
The Sri Lanka Ladies Amateur Golf Championship, the National title was annexed by Tiru in 1971, 73, 74, 75 whilst Sheila Cotton won in-between in 1972, followed by Mrs. Pam Fernando, Ruki Kodagoda, Swen Selvaratnam, Oosha Chanmugam, Anouk Chanmugam, Thuhashini, Jackie Dias, Shyanika Fernando. Among Indian stars, Nonita Hazari, Nonita Lal, V. Agrawal, L. Balasubramaniam, Khanna, L. Brar, P. Grewal, N. Malithia twice,Gauri Monga, Twesha Malik and Apichaya Ubol from Thailand have all claimed titles.
The upcoming two Championships will be played concurrently creating more interest with over 30 entries expected. The Ladies Stroke play Open Championship will be over 54 Holes (03 Rounds) stroke play from the 6th – 08th March. The Champion will be the player with the best gross score over 3 rounds.
The Sri Lanka Ladies Amateur Open Championship 2017, Qualifying Rounds for the Top 8 will be decided from the best gross scores of the two Qualifying Rounds on 7th & 8th March, followed by Match-play format for the Top Eight qualifiers, with the Q-Final, Semi-Final and Final played on the 9th, 10th and 11th March respectively. Both Championships will produce some top Golf with youngsters Taniya Minel Balasuriya, Kayla Perera leading the local challenge to overcome the Senior Lady past Champions Thuhashini who hasn’t played in Colombo since 2000, Sweenetha Selvaratnam, Anouk Chanmugam, Shyanika Fernando, Niloo Jayathilaka, and of course the international Lady Golfers from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.