By Ellen Zoe Golden Photo courtesy Federation of Golf of Costa Rica
Just a short time after Reserva Conchal presented the Essential Costa Rica Classic – the first PGA TOUR Latin America, the development’s golf course hosted 110 junior golfers from all around the globe for U.S. Kids Golf Foundation event last month. The children, aged 6 to 18, arrived in Costa Rica from Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, South Africa, and United States. This is the second year that the tournament took place in Costa Rica. The US Kids Latin American Championship is one of nine international events on the US Kids Golf Foundation’s schedule.
According to Carlos Rojas, Reserva Conchal’s Director of Golf, the kids who participated in this last tournament were selected by the handicaps in their own country, which were determined by their participation in golf events before coming to Costa Rica.
“They qualified from tournaments in their own countries. These are kids who do not think of golf as recreation, but as a sport. They have to be athletes, too, because they had to walk the course for three days, and their parents were their caddies,” Rojas explained. “These were the top level of kids.”
The 14 winners of the U.S. Kids Golf tournament were awarded with trophies.
“For Costa Rica and Guanacaste, bringing international golf here is a great opportunity to show visitors the nature the way of living, how fun and safe is Costa Rica for their kids,” concluded Rojas. “These type of events are unique moments that allow us to make everybody welcome and offer a little of our Costa Rican culture. This is the second year that we have had the tournament, and it is always very special ti see kids under 7 years old playing like professionals and inspiring the local kids community to reach a higher goal! This event was a total success.
Both the PGA TOUR Latin America and the US Kids Golf tournament were organized by the Federation of Golf of Costa Rica.
1st place results:
Boys 7 & Under: Gavyn Miller (United States)
Boys 8: Kirk Floeck (Panamá)
Boys 9: Juan Pablo Alvarado (Costa Rica)
Boys 10: Micah Sheffer (United States)
Boys 11: Michael Mikus Vásquez (Costa Rica)
Boys 12: Elías Mardeni (Costa Rica)
Boys 13-14: Pablo Lacayo (Nicaragua)
Boys 15-18: Julián González (Costa Rica)
Girls 8 & Under: Emma Gaitán (Colombia)
Girls 9: Lily Peng (United States)
Girls 10: Camryn Kanell (United States)
Girls 11: Adriana Llobet (Costa Rica)
Girls 13-14: Gabriela Ling (United States)
Girls 15-18: Chaewon Jeong (Costa Rica)
Event Staff U.S. Kids
Golf Director on Site – Carter McClaugherty
Tournament Director – Alejandro Duque
Tournament Ops – Gustavo Marrero
Tournament Ops – Marco Aguilar
Tournament Ops – Fernando Ávila
Conchal Director of Golf – Carlos Rojas
Head Rules Official – Marco Aguilar