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It’s back to local business for top Kenya amateurs

Thursday August 31 2017

Royal Nairobi's Serah Khanyereri follows the progress of her shot during the Kenya Ladies Golf Union (KLGU) Matchplay Championship at Sigona Golf Club on August 26, 2017. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |

Royal Nairobi's Serah Khanyereri follows the progress of her shot during the Kenya Ladies Golf Union (KLGU) Matchplay Championship at Sigona Golf Club on August 26, 2017. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By LARRY NGALA
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It’s back to the local scene for Kenya’s elite golfers after last week’s East Africa Challenge Cup in Dar es Salaam Tanzania where Kenya beat the hosts Tanzania by two and half points to re-capture the trophy that had eluded Kenya for four years.

A field of 94 players, including seven of the eight players who represented Kenya in Tanzania, will be in action this weekend at Karen Country Club for this year’s Karen Challenge trophy.

The 54-hole strokeplay event which is the 11th leg in the Kenya Amateur Golf Championshp (KAGC) series formerly Golfer Of The Year (GOTY), also counts towards the World Amateur Rankings.

As usual, two rounds will be played Saturday morning and afternoon with the final round set for Sunday morning.

Leading the challenge among the top amateurs will be defending champion John Karichu from Limuru Country Club.

During last year’s tournament Karichu, who currently leads in the KAGC series, posted a total of six over par 222 gross to tie with Sigona’s Sujan Shah who he eventually beat in a sudden death play off.

Shah is now a professional and no longer qualifies to play in the event.

Challenging Karichu for the trophy will be players like Vet Lab’s Edwin Mudanyi and Mike Kisia from Vet Lab, Royal Nairobi’s Dennis Saikwa and his club-mate Kenneth Bollo and Kenya Amateur Matchplay champion Joseph Gathumbi.

Also drawn is Nyali’s Agil Is-Haq and Railway’s Samuel Njoroge.

Teeing off for the first round is set for 7.14am followed by the second round at noon.

Meanwhile, away in Kitale, the par 73 Kitale Club will host the CIC Insurance Group event where a close to 100 golfers from the North Rift region were drawn.

CIC Group chief executive officer Tom Gitogo says this is the first of a series of events to be sponsored by CIC at the club.

OVERWHELMING ENTRY

Gitogo will be leading a team of CIC staff during the event which has attracted among other players, former resident pro of the club Dismas Indiza.

At Thika Sports Club, the Bank of Africa event has attracted a huge field of over 250 players.

Also attracting an overwhelming entry is the Posta golf tournament at Muthaiga Golf Club while down at Nyali in Mombasa, it will be the turn of Sanlam Group tournament at the par 71 Nyali Golf and Country.