Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Kenya pros seek polish at Jamii

PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO Former Kenya rugby international Ken Thimba keenly watches his tee shot from the 10th hole during the Barclays Bank Golf finals over the weekend at the Karen Country Club. Thimba made the 20-man list that will play in the Kenya Open Pro-am.

PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO Former Kenya rugby international Ken Thimba keenly watches his tee shot from the 10th hole during the Barclays Bank Golf finals over the weekend at the Karen Country Club. Thimba made the 20-man list that will play in the Kenya Open Pro-am.  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By LARRY NGALA [email protected]

The Barclays Kenya Open build-up for Kenya’s professionals, shifts to the par 71 Muthaiga Golf Club course for Tuesday’s first round of the 72-hole Jamii Telecom golf tournament.

The one million shillings event started three years ago to prepare the local professionals for the Open has attracted all the pros including the 21 players who qualified for the Open.

Unfortunately, the Open will this year be staged at Karen and not Muthaiga whose course is not likely to be at the same condition as the par 72 Karen course.

The pros will however still use the event to make some correction into areas of their game prior to their trip to Karen.

Tuesday’s opening round is set for 8.30am where the focus will be on two of Kenya’s leading pros Dismas Indiza of Mumias Golf Club in Western Kenya and Thika’s Simon Ngige.

The two produced excellent scores of 16 under par 272 at weekend’s KCB Advantage Banking Tour at Royal Nairobi where Indiza got the better of Simon Ngige at the second hole of a sudden death play off after sinking a 10-footer birdie putt to force the play-off.

Switching to the amateurs, Karen Country Club over the weekend hosted the grand finale of the newly launched Barclays Bank Golf Circuit where 20 players qualified to play in next week’s Barclays Kenya Open Pro-Am to be held at the same venue.

Leading the way to the Pro-Am was Sigona’s Tanvir Khan. Playing off handicap 19, Khan posted an impressive score of 40 points, to beat a large field of 164 players.

“I am excited winning this event and would like to thank Barclays Bank of Kenya for having started the series. This victory has earned me an opportunity to play in the Kenya Pro-Am,’’ said Khan.

Qualifying alongside Khan, were Haren Patel, Sahen Shah, Anil Lalla, George Njoroge, Atish Malde, E. Mwangi and Sam Muraya.

Also earning a chance to battle it along with some of the visiting professionals during the Pro-Am also sponsored by Barclays Bank include S. Muriu, Divyanga Amin, Eric Kabuthia, Joyce Wanjiru, Ken Thimba, Simon Mbugua J. Jaffer, Paul Kaguamba, Rufus Gichuki, PP. Nathwani, C.Chumo, and Karaya Karuga.

Leading the guests was Gordon Odundo who posted 38 points to win ahead of Kenya Open Golf Limited chairman Peter Kanyago on 35. Tabitha Muhinga won the staff prize with 36 points

At Muthaiga F.G. Nganga won the XRX/Netapp golf tournament with a fine score of 42 points.

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