Golfer of the Year (Goty) series leader David Opati ended his long victory drought when he won the Coast Open Golf Championship title.
The Ngong Racecourse and Golf Park golfer beat Vet Lab Sports Club’s Nelson Kuyanda by the narrow margin of one shot at the tough playing Mombasa Golf Club’s par 71 Links course on Sunday.
Opati had fired two under par 69 to lead the field of 100 players into the second and final round of the annual championship, also known as Barry Cup, which was sponsored this year by Keringet Water, Crown Berger, Bonfide Group and Shiva Carriers.
“I am glad I have ended the Goty winning jinx,” said Opati, who was the defending champion of the 93-year-old championship. “Playing in every tournament with a lot of pressure, it has been very tough over the past six months despite the fact that I have been leading in the Goty series.”
As in the 2011 event, however, the second round was not an easy outing for the national team player. He had started well, firing in a birdie putt at the first hole, but dropped it soon after.
And, as if that bogey at the fifth was not enough, Opati double-bogeyed the par three seventh then dropped another shot at the ninth for four over par 39. He however played a steady back nine, which included a birdie at the 14th, for three over par 74 and a total of 144.
Kuyanda had a good finish, firing one under par 70 for 145 to finish just a shot adrift of the winner as Kenya Amateur Matchplay champion Tony Omuli, also from Golf Park, shot 75 to drop from second- to third place on 146.
Vet Lab’s Mathew Omondi tied on 151 with James Muigai Karanja of Limuru while Jonathan Chebukati and Junior player Mathew Wahome of Nyali, were the best locals on 154.
Chebukati shot 74 in the final round and Wahome 76. However, Wahome clinched the overall nett title with two impressive rounds of 69 and 67, beating club mate Dominic Makau (141) by five shots. Brian Masika, also from Nyali, finished in third place on 143.
Karen’s Anthony Kinuthia won the first round gross on 72 while winning the second was Francis Kimani from Limuru on 73.
The two nett rounds winners were William Kaguta and Jonathan Chebukati on 68 and 69 nett, respectively.
The Inter-Club challenge title also remained at home with Terry Kaguta and youngster Mathew Wahome on 290 gross, winning ahead of Railway’s John Kaniaru and Mburu Muigai with 296.
Won Dasani Golf Gala qualifier
At Karen, the team of John Musunga, Lawrence Kiambi, Fred Kariuki and David Kiambi won the closely contested Dasani Golf Gala qualifier with a total of 107 points, beating a field of 180 players.
The handicap-eight Musunga carded 39 points and David Kiambi and Kariuki 34 each while Lawrence Kiambi, playing off handicap 14, was the team’s weakest link on 32 points.
The team of Anthony Murage, Anthony Gacheru, Anthony Mogere and Clive Davies posted the second best combined score of 106 points to also book a ticket to the grand finale.
Murage contributed 35 points to the team, the same as Gacheru and Mogere, while Davis could only manage 32.
So far, 84 players have qualified for the grand finale to be held at Karen on September 29. The reserve team, made up of Maina Karanja (40), John Katiku (33), Alex Kobia (32) and Njee Muturi (32), amassed a team score of 105 points.