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Why Titianna Atieno is a name to remember in golf in years to come



Why Titianna Atieno is a name to remember in golf in years to come

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 30 – As the clock counts down to the third edition of the Magical Kenya Ladies Open, one name has been featuring on the lips of various golf stakeholders in the country: Titianna Atieno.

The 16-year-old may not be part of the five-woman Kenyan team that will be flying the national flag at this prestigious leg of the DP Tour but is touted by those who have watched her closely as one for the future.

The only child of a single mother, Doreen Rotieh, the Vipingo village native has impressed admirers with her commitment and passion for golf, which has spurred her meteoric rise since she first held a golf club two years ago.

PGA Professional and Director of Golf Saleem Haji has worked closely with Titianna at the PGA Academy, under Vipingo Ridge’s CSR Program, and admits the teenager’s growth in the last two years has been simply phenomenal.

“Titianna is a fantastic student and I have personally enjoyed working with her every week at the PGA Academy. Her skill has grown considerably in a short space of time and I am really proud of how fast she’s improving,” Haji says.

His prayer is that Titianna’s career in golf can grow to the highest level so she can unshackle her family from the chains of poverty.

He is positive that the teenager is on her way to the big leagues so long as she maintains her current trajectory.

“Golf can be a doorway out of poverty and we hope to see her go from strength to strength, doing well at competitions, travelling with the game, and showing other Kenyans what can be achieved through this sport,” he adds.

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Love at first sight

Having been born and raised in the Vipingo area, the site of a world-class PGA Baobab Golf Course, it was only befitting that Titianna would be one of the beneficiaries of this venue when she was enrolled in a junior golf clinic in 2019.

As one of 20 students from Future Hope Montessori School in Vipingo who were part of the clinic, Titianna immediately took to golf like a fish to water and fell headlong in love with it thanks to more encouragement from the coaches.

Here newfound love affair with golf blossomed when she was enrolled for the second edition of the clinic at the PGA Academy during last year’s Magical Kenya Ladies Open.

US Virgin Islands’ Alexandra Swayne, who participated in last year’s MKLO and has been enrolled in past clinics, spoke on the impact of the trainings on her career.

“It was good to teach the kids and show them that no matter where you are or where you come from, it’s good to stick with golf,” she said.

Her counterpart, Luiz Altman, adds that she is looking forward to seeing more Kenyan golfers earn slots in future editions of the DP Tour.

“I started in one of these programs in Brazil and I’m really hoping to see some of these Kenyan junior players playing on the tour soon. That would be really exciting,” Altman says.

As for Titianna, the sky is never the limit; since completing her KCPE exams in November last year, she has been busy in training at the golf course and working out in the gym in readiness for this year’s clinic at the Tour.

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The clinic, slated for Saturday, will comprise 12 more students from the Hope Montessori School.

The competition proper begins on Thursday as 96 players battle for the top prize with the winner to be decided on Sunday.

Spectators can purchase tickets to the four-day tournament through the online platform which are retailing for KES 500 per day.

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