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Amateur events highlight of weekend golf

Friday June 7 2019

Robinson Owiti follows the flight of his tee shot during Kenya Open @50 Golf tournament on March 9, 2018 at Muthaiga Golf Club. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT |

Robinson Owiti follows the flight of his tee shot during Kenya Open @50 Golf tournament on March 9, 2018 at Muthaiga Golf Club. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

LARRY NGALA
By LARRY NGALA
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While four of Kenya’s top amateur golfers are away in Bujumbura, Burundi fighting it out to try and recapture the Africa Region 4 golf title formerly the East Africa Challenge Cup, the remaining players at home will be heading to the North Rift town of Kitale this weekend, for the 2019 Trans Nzoia Open golf championship.

The event is part of the Kenya Amateur Golf Championship (KAGC) series which counts towards the country’s national Order of Merit and has attracted a field of 48 players.

They include newly crowned Kenya Amateur Match Play champion Paul Muchangi of Limuru Country Club who will be facing among other challengers, the man he beat in the match play championship final, William Odera of Golf Park.

Other leading players also going for the title plus KAGC points, will be Mike Kisia, Robinson Owiti and Isaac Makokha, all from Vet Lab, Nyali’s Mathew Wahome and Peter Rimui of Nanyuki, and Railway’s John Lejirmah and George Felix.

Fresh from a home victory, Muchangi will obviously be the man to watch despite the fact that the format this weekend will be stroke play.

All the same, this weekend’s Trans Nzoia open is likely to produce some interesting results depending on course conditions.

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The ladies will, meanwhile, be at Limuru golf and country club for this year’s 54-hole ladies amateur Stroke play championship.

It is the most prestigious event in the ladies national calendar attracting lady golfers from Kenya and beyond.

They include 2017 and 2018 winner Madina Idd from Arusha Gymkhana club in Tanzania who will be seeking a third consecutive victory.

She is however likely to face strong opposition from local players such as Vet Lab’s Agnes Nyakio, Mercy Nyanchama, veteran Mary Karano and Royal Nairobi’s Serah Khanyereri who has dominated most of the national ladies events since the season started.

Other leading players will included US based Josephine Ainley and Kiambu’s Joyce Wanjiru.

At stake for the ladies besides the Golfer of The Year points, will be the Mary Neville trophy open to all players playing off handicap 20 and below, and the Dolan trophy which will be competed for by players playing off between handicap 10 and 20.

Those in the handicap 21 and 35 will vie for the Sigona Quaich while playing for the Mary Wambugu trophy will be the players playing off handicap 30 to 35.

Saturday’s first round is set to begin at 8am, followed by the second round in the afternoon while the third round whose draw will be seeded is set for Sunday morning.

Elsewhere, the countrywide Crown Silicone Golf Challenge series marks its fifth leg at the long Vet Lab Sports Club course this weekend, following other events held in Nakuru, Thika, Kiambu and Nanyuki.

This weekend’s event has attracted a big field of over 200 players who include guests of the sponsors Crown Paints who besides the 11 events series, are also sponsoring the national Boys and Girls championship at Muthaiga in addition to the Sigona Junior event.

The event offers a great opportunity for the company’s top executive led by CEO Rakesh Rao to showcase their products.

The company is also sponsoring the ongoing Crown Paints pro invitational tournament at Muthaiga.

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