Handicap 19 golfer Jacob Gathecha beat a big field of 207 golfers at the tough playing Muthaiga Golf Club’s par 71 course, to clinch the overall title in the 2018 Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) golf tournament on Friday.
Gathecha, whose best performance over the past one year was a second place finish during Muthaiga’s 90th Anniversary tournament in October 2017 where he posted 37 points, managed to overcome a poor start in Friday’s event to eventually post an impressive 40 points.
He started the day with a double bogey at the first hole, dropped a shot at the par three-second, one more double at the third.
“I almost gave up after bogeying so many holes at the first nine, which was rather more difficult than the back nine," said Gathecha after receiving his overall prize from KPA chairman General (retired) Joseph Raymond Kibwana.
In addition to the two doubles, Gathecha also dropped more shots at the fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth for 15 points.
However, at the back nine, he managed to pick up seven pars, dropping only two shots at the 12th and 14th for an impressive 25 points.
He beat men winner Julius Mutethia, who playing off handicap nine also carded 40 points, made up of 22 and 18 points.
Mutethia, who is currently enjoying an excellent form, dropped two shots at the fifth and ninth, but birdied the seventh for 22 points in the first nine.
He started the back nine with a birdie, but picked up a string of bogeys at the back nine for 18 points, to win ahead of Chege Gitura, who carded 38 points, while club captain James Ondigo was third on 37 points after beating Philip Ocholla on countback.
Sharon Gitari posted 36 points to take the ladies' first prize ahead of Susan Kanyora on 31, while Royal golfers made a clean sweep in the guests section, where former Kenya Volleyball Federation official Wycliffe Onyango, posted 36 points to win ahead of Robert Nyanchoga on 35, as John Wachira and Henry Juma finished in third and fourth places on points each.
In the staff category, Charles Odoo carded 38 points made up of 20 and 18 points, to win by five points from Terry Odoo, with Fiona Mbandi and Japheth Obonyo taking the third and fourth prizes.
Railway’s Nthiomi Majau won the men’s longest drive, while the ladies prize went to Vet Lab lady captain Rachel Ndei. James Ondigo and Florence Maina were the nearest to pin winners.
It was a great day for home player Kiogora Mutai despite the fact that he only managed to score 28 points. Mutai holed in one at the par three-fifth hole using 6-iron.
His second hole in one in his career.
“I hit a sold five iron which landed a few feet from the pin and rolled in," said Mutai.