Davao’s Nagayo kids rule Melbourne US Kids Golf local tour

PERTH, Australia – The golfing Nagayo siblings will be back in Pinehurst.

The Dabawenyo kids, now based in Melbourne on a golf scholarship, ruled the tough Victoria leg of the US Kids Golf that will determine Melbourne’s representatives to the World Championships at the home of junior golf in Pinehurst, North Carolina on August 3-6.

Alessandra Kristine “Ella” Nagayo ruled the girls 12-14 year od division while younger brother Daniel topped the boys 11-year old division of the Melbourne local summer tour on Sunday at the Cheltenham Golf and Country Club in Melbournee.

Ella, who played in Pinehurst last year representing the Philippines, had to do battle with archrival Sayumi Da Costa in a sudden death playoff in the Championship Round. She lost the sudden death but still emerged with more points over eventual second placer Da Costa in the seven-round eliminations to take the Pinehurst berth.

Daniel likewise finished second in the Championship Round but amassed more points in the total after having banked in the first 6 rounds to punch a ticket to the World Championship.

In Australia, the US Kids Golf tour have local tours in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane every summer, winter and spring.

The summer tour was composed of 6 rounds and one championship round. To get invited to the US Kids World Championships, a player needs to play at least 4 rounds, be the Local Tour Champion and must score 84 or better in one round.

To determine the Local Tour Champ per age division, scores are added up from all rounds played. Each regular round the first placer gets 30 points, second placer gets 20 points and third placer gets 10 points. The winners in the championship round will get double of the points from the regular rounds.

“After computing all the points accumulated during the regular rounds plus today’s round, Daniel and Ella got the highest points in their respective divisions. Thus, making them Local (Summer) Tour Champions in their respective divisions,” said former city councilor Rachel Zozobrado-Nagayo, mother of the two kids.

“I’m so proud of Ella and Daniel. They really put in a lot of hardwork in practice and now, they finally reaped the fruits,” Nagayo, who recently moved in to Melbourne after she finished her term in the city council, said.

The victory will also mean the Nagayos will be representing Australia in the World Championships this year.

Some 1,500 kids from 50 countries are expected to vie for the World Championships.