Some 15 Kenyan professional golfers flew out of Nairobi on Monday for Lilongwe and Kigali, for both Malawi and Rwanda Open golf championships, set for Thursday until Sunday.
According to the list of names released by the professional Golfers of Kenya (PGK) captain John Wangai, 12 of the pros are heading to Lilongwe while four will play in the Rwanda Open.
Those who left for Malawi were Greg Snow from Muthaiga, Simon Ngige (Thika), Dismas Indiza (Mumias), Riz Charania (Windsor), Ganeev Giddie (Muthaiga), Sujan Shah (Sigona), Anil Shah (Royal), Erick Ooko (Royal), David Wakhu, Tony Omulli, and Joseph Karanja, all from Golf Park.
Those who were due to wage battle in the Rwanda Open are Kopan Timbe, Sullivan Muthugia, Justus Madoya, and Alfred Nandwa.
They will be joined by other pros from Uganda, Tanzania, and from the hosting country Rwanda for the $10,000 (about Sh1 million) which is up for grab since reigning champion Dismas Indiza will not be defending his title as he tries his luck in Malawi where the prize money is $50,000 (Sh5 million).
By Monday, the Malawi Open, sponsored Airtel, Toyota Malawi, TNM, and Umodzi Park among others, had attracted a field of 95 drawn from Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa, Namibia, Swaziland, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria and Portugal.
“It is the first time Malawi is staging an open professional golf event and they are very excited about it and are looking forward to growing the event, not just to attract African professionals, but others from elsewhere in the world,’’ said Malawi-based Kenyan golfer Kimanzi Muthengi, who has been helping the organising committee in inviting some of the pros mostly from the East Africa region.
The Malawi Open tees off with the official practice round today followed by the Pro-Am event on Wednesday where the pros will be joined by local amateurs.
The first round for the pros is set for Thursday.
Meanwhile, one of the club’s leading golfers John Ngure carded net 69 to beat Patrick Wanjohi on countback to win the Doctors Golf Day sponsored by Dr. Kamundia, Dr. Gatinuand Dr. Matu at Kiambu Golf Club at the weekend.
The handicap 12 Wanjohi won the men’s first prize, while finishing second on 70 nett was Joseph Muchigi, who beat Fred Njoroge on countback. Evans Ngene, who lost to Njoroge on countback, finished third after Nahashon Mburu on coutback.
Another top golfer at Kiambu, Mike Ngene fired four over par 76 to claim the gross title. In the ladies section, Catherine Mungai carded nett 74 to win by one shot from Margaret Mbugua. Leading the invited guests was Bernadette Irungu on nett 74, with Dr Gichuru Kamau leading the sponsors on nett 69.
The nines in the event which attracted a field of 95 golfers, went to George Muiruri on 34 and Evans Ngene with 33.5 nett.
The following is a summarised results of the weekend golf round-up;
At Nandi Bears Club; Vivo Energy; Overall winner-Eliud Kemboi 42 points,
E. Mengech 39, Lady Winner Jane Koech 34, Guest winner was A. Kweya 31, Staff winner was F. Kimanzi 25 points.
At Sigona; Chairman’s ‘Prize: Overall winner Hitesh K Patel 34.5-35=-0.5diff; Men winner Haki Sehmi 35-35=0, Kirit A Patel 36.5-36=0.5, Ketul Tanna 39-38=1diff, Arvo Ladha 34-33=1, Sam King’ori 36-34= 2diff; lady winner Liz Mbuthia 35.5-32=3.5, Noni Muhire 35-27=8, junior winner Ali Khimji 34.5-28=6; senior winner Ted Macharia 38.5-32=6.; winner director Chets Mukherjee 42-29=13, winner past chairman Dan Mugo 41-31=10;