Dubai: Abu Dhabi-based Maya Palanza Gaudin finished first in the recent US Kids European Championship (girls’ age 12 years-old category) at Glen Golf Club, just outside of Edinburgh, Scotland.
Born in Ethiopia, 12-year-old Maya, who has lived in Abu Dhabi with her parents and younger sister for ten years, plays off a 2.7 handicap and was the 2021 Ladies Club Champion at Yas Links, Abu Dhabi.
Maya encountered all the challenges in Scotland during the tournament week: a difficult golf course, cold, windy and rainy weather, tough competition. She met every adversity with determination, grit and a ‘can-do spirit.’
Maya played incredibly consistent golf, shooting 72 (Level), 74 (+2) and 74 (+2) for a tournament total of 220 (+4) played over the 4,507-yard, par-72 layout.
Round one found Maya on top of the leaderboard. In round two she dropped to second place, two strokes behind the new leader. And in round three she played an incredibly clean front nine (all pars) and ultimately overtook the current leader by four strokes to take the title.
The next international event on Maya’s schedule is the US Kids Golf World Championships in July at Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina (USA). The 54-hole US Kids Championship is recognised as a qualifier for R&A WAGR points.