Muscat: Arnav Dixit, Shams Al Noumani, Faris Al Busaidi, Fahad Al Adawi and Victor Nordberg stole the show at the inaugural OGC Junior Open golf championship organised by Oman Golf Committee (OGC) at Almouj Golf course on Friday. The OGC organised the day-long championship in association with Oman LNG, which has been supporting Oman’s junior development programme over the past few years, and event partner Trowers & Hamlins. Thanks to a roaring response from the country’s ever enthusiastic young golfing community, the organisers expanded the event accepting 58 entries, four more than originally planned. The field was open to both Omani citizens as well as expatriates, and they played in five categories: above-10 years (long tee), above-10 years (medium tee), under-9 years (long tee), under-9 years (medium tee), under-9 years (short tee). Arnav produced a score of 36, with Cameron Henderson finishing runner-up with 39 in the above-10 long tee category. Arnav was elated with his win and he said: “It feels nice to win this trophy. The competition was good. The conditions out there were also quite good today. I have been playing golf for a few years, and I like playing the sport. It’s been a nice experience for me.” In the above-10 medium tee category, Shams Al Noumani scored 57, same as Ayman Al Muhrouqi but the former took the top honours on countback. Shams who has been training only for last eight weeks in Ras Al Hamra Golf Club was not expecting to win. “I am surprised. This my first ever golf competition in life. I was little nervous when going out but eventually started playing well. I was playing 5 or 6 holes, first time I played a 9 hole game. In the last 3 holes I did well and won.” In the under-9 long tee event, Faris Al Busaidi scored 16 to emerge the winner ahead of runner-up Adam Al Barwani (18). In the under-9 medium tee category, Fahad Al Adawi won on countback with a score of 20, ahead of runner-up Jake Sanderson (20). In the under-9 short tee event, Victor Nordberg won with a score of 19, ahead of runner-up Riley Dunn (22). Golfing opportunities OGC Chairman Al Barwani said: “I must thank all the parents first for coming forward and pushing their kids to take part in this event and to turn it into a big success. It has been a lovely sight, to see so many youngsters taking to the course and contesting hard. We hope to produce more such competitive golfing opportunities for youngsters in Oman.” Guests of honour Rashid Abdullah Al Nasri, Executive Vice-President of Oman LNG Development Foundation, OGC Chairman Mundhir Al Barwani, Vice-Chairman Ahmed Al Jahdhmy, board member and representative of Trowers & Hamlins Majid Al Toky graced the prize-distribution ceremony. Later, Oman LNG’s Rashid Al Nasri said: “This is a great occasion and we are charmed by the wonderful response from the children and their parents. The success of today’s event and the players’ enthusiasm quite clearly show the huge potential that is there for continued golf development in the Sultanate. I wish everyone more success in the future.” Jachym Sedek, playing in the under-9 long tee category, won the hole-in-one contest and was given a special prize for the rare feat. Congratulating the winners, Al Toky said: “An event like this is a very important occasion for golf development in Oman. All over the world where golf is a successful sport, it all began at the grassroots level. Here too, these age-groups of 9-10 years are the foundation for building the sport in Oman.” Individual winners: Above-10 years (long tee): Arnav Dixit; Above-10 years (medium tee): Shams Al Noumani; Under-9 years (long tee): Faris Al Busaidi; Under-9 years (medium tee): Fahad Al Adawi; Under-9 years (short tee): Victor Nordberg, Hole-in-one: Jachym Sedek.