Kenyans set up gold medal clash with rivals Uganda

Friday June 7 2019

Mutahi Kibugu follows the progress of his tee from the 5th hole tee during the 2019 Kabete Junior Open round three on April 9, 2019 at Vet Lab Sports Club. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Mutahi Kibugu follows the progress of his tee from the 5th hole tee during the 2019 Kabete Junior Open round three on April 9, 2019 at Vet Lab Sports Club. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

LARRY NGALA
By LARRY NGALA
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IN BUJUMBURA, BURUNDI

Kenya will take on defending champions Uganda in the gold and silver match play foursomes today after topping the list of the six teams in the 72-hole stroke play qualifying event at the Bujumbura Golf Club course Friday afternoon.

Kenyan team captain Samuel Njoroge shot his third one under par 70, to steer his team to the match play clash against arch-rivals Uganda who put up a spirited fight with a brave four under par 67 by Godfrey Nsubuga while Daniel Baguma and Rodell Gaita each fired three over par 74 for 894 gross and 10 points, to push Tanzania to third place.

For the Kenyans, it was a tough outing for the other three players Simon Njogu, Mutahi Kibugu and Zubair Khan. Njogu shot 77 while Zubar Khan brought 80 for a total of 889 gross and 10.5 points.

“It was a tough afternoon for my teammates so I had to make sure that I brought under par to assure ourselves of a match with either Uganda or Tanzania,’’ said Njoroge who completed a five-under par 279 in the four rounds of stroke play qualifying battle.

LOST TO RWANDA

Last year in Mombasa, Kenya was beaten by Rwanda in the semi-final while Uganda beat Burundi to eventually meet Rwanda in the final where Uganda dispatched the Rwandese with ease.

“We didn’t want to repeat that mistake of last year. We know Uganda is determined to retain the trophy but so do we," added Njoroge.

Meanwhile back to the fourth round, Tanzania shot 76, 77 and 76 for a grand total of 898 gross which could only earn them 9.5 points. They will now meet Burundi A for the third and fourth play-off while Burundi B will meet Ethiopia for the fifth and sixth classification.

In the match play singles Njoroge will take on Joseph Chinywai at 9am while Simon Njogu was drawn against Godfrey Nsubuga at 9.10am and in the foursomes, Mutahi Kibugu and Zubair Khan are meeting Daniel Baguma and Rodell Gaita from 9.20am. Matches for the other positions are set for 8am.

This year the tournament attracted only six teams from five countries following the withdrawal of Rwanda and the failure to confirm of countries like Seychells, Congo and Mauritius who are part of Africa’s golf region four. The event attracted a host of sponsors who include the R&A, KCB, Rudi Paints, Interbank Burundi, Alchem and NEFI Group.

Burundi Golf Union President Serge Maheto was most grateful for the countries that travelled for the championship saying member countries should support events in the region.

“We are certainly grateful for the countries which took the initiative to travel to Burundi for this event which was last held here in 2012. It is sad though, that other countries did not find it important enough to even send a representative. That is not the spirit to build the game of golf in this region," he said.

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