Final Safari Tour leg to pick Kenya’s qualifiers for Open - Daily Nation

Final Safari Tour leg to pick Kenya’s qualifiers for Open

Friday February 8 2019

Muthaiga Golf Club's Greg Snow poses with the trophy after winning the fifth leg of the Safari Golf Tour on January 16, 2019 at Muthaiga Golf Club. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Muthaiga Golf Club's Greg Snow poses with the trophy after winning the fifth leg of the Safari Golf Tour on January 16, 2019 at Muthaiga Golf Club. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By LARRY NGALA
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The top eight qualifiers to play in the Magical Kenya Open Golf Championship will be decided during the sixth and final leg of the Safari Tour series at the par 72 Windsor Golf Hotel and Country Club next weekend.

Patrick Obath, the Kenya Open Tournament Director, re-emphasised that the Safari Tour was the principal ranking route for qualification into the Kenya Open.

“Since August 2018, we have staged five Safari Tour events and at each of these legs, the golf professionals have been awarded points based on their performance; the better the performance the more points gained,” Obath said.

“The top eight participants from the Safari Tour will be announced at the end of the sixth leg at Windsor and these eight Pros will be awarded a slot into the Kenya Open Golf Championship 2019.”

Muthaiga’s Greg Snow currently leads the Safari Tour ranking with 95.5 points following his fourth place finish at Nyali, victories at Vet Lab Sports Club, first place finish at Limuru Country Club and two more wins Thika Greens and Muthaiga Golf Club. Snow was on top form at Muthaiga, winning that leg of the Tour with a 15-stroke lead.

Mumias-based Professional Dismas Indiza follows in second place with 92 points having been consistent throughout the Tour.

He finished second in Nyali, lost to Snow in a playoff at Vet Lab, he was tied third in Limuru, second at Thika Greens and tied second at Muthaiga.

He will be seeking his first victory in the series, during the Windsor tournament which is also expected to bring together some of the top amateurs who have qualified for the Open.

The Kenya Golf Union (KGU) this week released the names of five amateurs who will represent the country in the open where they will have to make the second round cut to proceed to the last two rounds of the event now a European Tour sanctioned tournament.

Meanwhile, Golf Park’s David Wakhu is third with 61.5 points.

He was victorious at the first Safari Tour event at Nyali and has been inconsistent since then, failing to score a single point in Thika Greens leg.

Jacob Okello, Kenya’s most decorated golf professional and so far the only Kenyan to have come closer to winning it though way back in 1998, is currently lying joint ninth with 42.5 points, only five points shy of eighth placed Justus Madoya of the Great Rift Valley Resort in Naivasha.

Okello, Nyali’s Ngugi Njuguna and Uganda’s Philip Kasozi have a mathematical chance of qualifying after the Windsor leg.

Only Snow and Indiza are safe, Wakhu requires 1.5 points at Windsor to finish among the top eighth and qualify for the Kenya Open whilst Riz Charania, who will be playing on his home course, will need at least 3.5 points to qualify.

And while Indiza will go to Windsor looking for his maiden victory at the Safari Tour, Snow is out to stamp his authority after his resounding victory at Muthaiga.

He would like to prove that his home victory was not just a fluke.

Wakhu, Charania, Simon Ngige and John Wangai will be fighting for a place in the top eight and an automatic place in the Kenya Open.

Only 17 professional golfers stand a chance of making it into the top eight of the Safari Tour.

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