At least 18 Kenyan professional golfers have confirmed participation in this year’s Tanzania Open Golf Championship set for KiliGolf Resort in Usa River, Arusha.
Professional Golfers of Kenya (PGK) captain John Wangai said the 18 players had confirmed participation in the event as of Tuesday.
“There may be more players travelling to Arusha, but these 18 are the ones who have confirmed participation," said Wangai.
The 72-hole event which has attracted players from East Africa, starts on Friday with the pros playing two rounds (36 holes) in morning and afternoon, while the third and fourth round will take place on Saturday and Sunday.
There will be a cut after two rounds, with the top 20 pros proceeding to battle it out for the cash prize. A purse of Sh800,000 will be at stake during this year’s tournament.
The Kenyan line-up includes Thika Sports Club’s Simon Ngige, who won the Diani Beach Masters at Leisure Lodge Beach and Golf Resort in Kwale County two weeks ago.
Others are John Wangai, Mathew Omondi, Nelson Simwa, Jacob Okello, Sullivan Muthugia, Jeff Kubwa, Kopan Timbe, Justus Madoya, David Wakhu, Ruchard Ainley, Joseph Karanja, Frank Matilo, Tony Omuli, Anil Shah, Eric Ooko, Hesbon Kutwa and Mohit Madiratta.
KiliGolf Resort is located near Kilimanjaro International Airport off Arusha - Moshi highway.
Meawhile, a competitive field braved the rain-drenched fairways at Muthaiga Golf club in Friday’s third annual I&M Bank Corporate golf day.
The tough conditions put paid chances of anyone taking home the Sh13 million BMW X6 car which was on offer for the first player to score an ace on the water protected 13th hole. It’s not impossible to do so though, as demonstrated in March during the Kenya Open. Finnish professional Oliver Lindell holed out the 173-metre hole with a 7-iron to win a vehicle.
The early starters had an advantage as Windsor’s Hashim Khan and his four ball which included Kaunain Assaria of Sigona emerged winners.
Khan, playing off 12, had the best score of the day with 41 Stableford points. He opened his round with 18 points, and scorched the back nine with 23 points to take the overall winner’s prize. His playing partner, Assaria, was two shots back on 39 points (17 and 22 points) to take the men winner prize.
Shital Bhandari was a shot back on 38 points as men runner-up, followed by Karen’s Chris Pasha, 37 points for third place and Railway golfer, P Kombe in fourth position a shot back.
The best lady was Karen’s Ann Mbogori who signed for 35 stablepoints, playing off handicap 26, as Norah Njeri of Royal Nairobi was runner-up with 33 points.
Muthaiga’s Olive Njagi was third two shots back, but also won the Longest Drive on the 18th hole. I&M Bank’s Joe Wainaina retained his hold on the staff prize.
Playing off handicap 7, Wainaina score of 35 points, was made up of 19 and 16 points on the respective nines. Men’s longest drive honours went to Sam Muraya.