Kenya’s top amateur golfers are at the magnificent Thika Greens course Thursday for the first round of this year’s Kenya Amateur Match play Golf Championship.
A total of 43 players drawn tackle the par 72 course, where at stake in addition to the prizes being offered by the Kenya Golf Union (KGU) and the points towards the Kenya Amateur Golf Championship (KAGC) series, will be an automatic spot to next year’s Kenya Open for the overall winner.
This year, the trophy is up for grabs in the absence of last year’s winner Joseph Gathumbi formerly of Thika Sports Club, who has been out of action since late last year.
However, the men Gathumbi beat in the final of the 2017 event, Vet Lab’s Edwin Mudanyi, South Africa-based Daniel Nduva, who is also the current Kenya Amateur Stroke play Championship, as well as current leader in the KAGC series John Karichu of Limuru, are drawn to battle it out.
Other leading amateurs, who are seeking an automatic entry to the 2019 Kenya Open, include the Great Rift Valley Resort’s Simon Njogu, Dennis Saikwa and Jay Sandhu of Royal Nairobi, Railway’s Samuel Njoroge, Mike Kisia and Robinson Owiti of Vet Lab and Rwanda’s Aloys Nsabimana.
A number of the top-ranked players have been given a bye to the second round, where they will meet some of the first round winners who are expected to tee off from 8am.
Those who were give byes include John Karichu, who is heading the first nine draw, where others also waiting for the first round winners will be former Stroke play champion John Kariuki of Limuru, Muthaiga’s Anthony Irungu, Dennis Saikwa, Paul Muchangi of Limuru and the Great Rift’s Simon Njogu.
Heading the list at the back nine will be Edwin Mudanyi, while other top players most of whom have been given bye to the second round include Robinson Owiti, Daniel Nduva and Mike Kisia.
The third round will take place on Friday morning, where the winners will return to the course for the quarter finals in the afternoon.
The semi finals will take place on Saturday with the 36-hole final set for Sunday.