Royal Nairobi Golf Club’s Anil Shah beat defending champion Simon Ngige and Muthaiga’s Nicholas Rokoine by two shots to clinch the 2012 KCB Advantage Banking Challenge title at the par 72 Thika Sports Club course at the weekend.
Shah, who concluded the 2011 season with back-to-back victories, including in the grand finale, on Saturday birdied five holes at the front nine for a low 31 and despite dropping a shot at the 12th, a birdie at the home green sealed off an impressive five under par 67 and a three rounds total of 211 for the year’s first cash prize of Sh108,000.
“I have changed the way I have been practicing and it seems to be working. I had many birdie chances but the greens here were a bit difficult,’’ said Shah.
Ngige, the two times champion of the tournament, which is the season opener in the 2012 KCB East Africa Golf Tour, birdied the first, third, ninth, 13th and 15th but dropped shots at the second, sixth, eight and 17th for one under par 71 for a three day total of 213 to tie for second place with Rokoine.
Rokoine, like Shah, shot five under par 67 in the final round which included five birdies. The two took Sh71,250.
Day one leader Dismas Indiza also shot five under par 67 for 214 to finish on his own in fourth place.
The Great Rift Valley Golf Resort’s David Wakhu finished fifth on 216 after firing one over par 73.
Professional Golfers of Kenya (PGK) captain Riz Charania was next on 218 after a 70 in the closing round. The next competition in the series will be the Muthaiga Open from February 29 to March 3.
Taking the amateur title in Thika, a tournament which attracted a field of 297, including 30 professionals, was Ndungu Ikenye who posted 21 and 19 for 40 points, beating Shanket Shah (20, 19), Gladys Athiru (21, 18), Boniface Githui (21, 18) and fifth placed Kim Nderitu (23, 16) by one point.
Steve Mugwe won the junior title with 37 points and taking the ladies title was Grace Githere who combined 21 and 17 for 38 to win by four points from G. N. Ngatho.
The staff prize went to E. Guda with 32 points.