Gupta and Jing Win Inaugural Optimas-JAGA International Series – Order of Merit Championship

On April 12-14, 2024, the Junior Asian Golf Academy (JAGA) and the Emirates Golf Federation (EGF) hosted the inaugural Optimas-JAGA International Series – Order of Merit Championship at the Al-Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club.

The three-day, World Amateur Golf Ranking event showcased a strong field of junior golf talent. Winning the overall championship was Natalii Gupta and Shijun Jing.

Sanctioned by the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC), JAGA has created the Optimas – JAGA International Series Order of Merit, which will provide affiliated associations and tournament operators the highest level of competition for elite student-golfers across Asia Pacific and Africa. This development pathway will offer amateur golfers strong competition while collecting World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) points.

The inaugural championship featured an impressive lineup of 11 WAGR-ranked players and two NCAA Division 1 commits who will be joining the prestigious Duke University golf program. The field had players from 24 different countries that represented 16 different golf associations. Along with an overall leaderboard, categories and age groups were created ensuring a comprehensive platform for young golfers to showcase their skills.

Winners received the opportunity to experience ‘The JAGA Way’ at the Junior Asian Golf Academy campus – Black Mountain, Hua Hin, Thailand for 3, 5, or 7 days this summer along with prizes worth $85,000 in total including bursaries.

Congratulations to the winners of each division:

Girls Division

Girls U13: Erum Kim (+21)

Girls U15: Suritpreeya Praksanubal (+7)

Girls U18: Lavanya Gupta (+4)

Girls U23: Natalii Gupta (-1, Champion)

Boys Division

Boys U13: Salem Alabdallat (+11)

Boys U15: Kartik Singh (-12)

Boys U18: Shijun Jing (-15, Champion)

Boys U23: Oliver Mukherjee (-10)

This inaugural event in the Optimas-JAGA International Series sets the stage for an exciting future, with over 25 events planned from September to April. The championship event is set to return to Al Ain around the same time next year, promising even more thrilling golf action.

John Laroche, Founder of JAGA had this to say following the championship. “In partnership with APGC and EGF, Optimas-JAGA International Series is set to showcase the top junior golfers in the Asia Pacific, rewarding them with global recognition and establishing them as the best in the region. We encourage all juniors within UAE, MENA, and Asia Pacific to not miss your chance to compete and make your mark on the international stage.”

JAGA is the first combined tier 1 North American High School learning program (through Northern Pre-University – NPU), a full-time golf training program delivered by an in-house international PGA Coach, and complete housing accommodation in the region. JAGA is a complete learning and training facility for elite student golfers trying to make it to the next level in their golfing career.

“It is our goal at the Emirates Golf Federation to provide junior golfers an opportunity to showcase their talents. JAGA and this Order of Merit will do that. With the support of the APGC and Arab Golf Federation, we now can identify the best junior golfers in the region. We also look forward to opening the first JAGA academy in the Middle East, which will allow students to learn, train, and compete”, said Emirates Golf Federation Vice Chairman and APGC Board Member General Abdullah Alhashmi.

The inaugural Optimas-JAGA International Series – Order of Merit Championship held at the Al-Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club was sponsored by, BFG, the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation, Agency Recruit, E Golf Megastore, and the Emirates Golf Federation. Through these partnerships JAGA was able to elevate the event to new heights, making the first event of the series a great success.

For more information about upcoming events and registration details, please visit

Share this article
Near by golf courses