The stage is set for this year’s Tannahill Shield golf tournament at Royal Nairobi Golf Club where a total of 90 players will converge on Friday for the first round of the country’s top amateur foursomes matchplay event.
As usual, nine clubs or regions are sending teams of 10 players each who will be battling it out for the 92-year-old Tannahill Shield donated by former Royal captain and chairman Major Arthur Tannahill in 1924.
The nine teams are Karen, Muthaiga, Railway, Limuru, hosts Royal, Western (made up of players from various clubs in Western and Northern Kenya, Mombasa, Sigona, and Vet Lab.
Hosts Nairobi, who are seeking a third back-to-back victory, are fielding more or less the same team that includes current Golfer Of The Year leader Kenneth Bollo, veterans Mugambi Murwithania and Joseah Kogo, Bo Ciera and the youthful Joshua Ichangi.
During last year’s tournament, Royal posted a total of 48 points to win by five points from Sigona, which, like Royal, is also being represented by the same team.
Also looking strong is Western that came third last year and has this year recruited veteran Evans Vitisia, a former Kenya international rugby star who over the past two decades has been playing for Muthaiga.
He has a lot of experience in matchplay and very knowledgeable of the Royal course. Vitisia will certainly be a big asset for the Western side which usually draws its players from Naivasha and beyond.
Western will however miss the services of Justus Madoya from the Great Rift Valley Resort in Naivasha who turned professional last December.
Besides Vitisa, other experience players in the team are Andrew Chelogoi, Caleb Cositany and Aaron Kitur.
Others are Anand Lakhani and Joseph Watunu from Eldoret as well as the long-hitting Luther Kamau from Nakuru. Also looking strong is Vet Lab aka “Kabete’’.