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Maximum field expected at Muthaiga Open

Thursday February 20 2020

Simon Njogu follows the progress of his tee shot from the 14th tee during the Muthaiga Open Golf tournament at Muthaiga Golf Club on February 17, 2019. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Simon Njogu follows the progress of his tee shot from the 14th tee during the Muthaiga Open Golf tournament at Muthaiga Golf Club on February 17, 2019. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

LARRY NGALA
By LARRY NGALA
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The hunt for points in the 2020 Kenya Amateur Golf Championship (KAGC) series, shifts to the par 71 Muthaiga Golf Club course, the home of Golf, for the two-day 54-hole Muthaiga Open golf championship.

One of the World Amateur Ranking events in the Kenya Golf Union (KGU) 2020 calendar of events, this year’s Muthaiga Open which follows the Mt Kenya Championship held at Nyeri Golf Club at the beginning of February, has attracted the maximum field of 96 players.

And among those drawn include defending champion Simon Njogu of the Great Rift Valley Golf Resort in Naivasha who will be pitted among other leading amateurs, Kenya Railway Golf Club’s Samuel Njoroge, home players Mutahi Kibugu, Evans Vitisia, Anonthy Irungu and Bhavnish Chandaria, and a strong team from Royal Nairobi led by Jay Sandhu.

Njogu, who alongside Samuel Njoroge are among the players likely to feature in the Magical Kenya Open, has not displayed his usual top form which earned him the Muthaiga Open and other national titles last year, though he has been practicing over the past few weeks including playing in the Safari Tour in order to put himself in shape in readiness for the Open.

“I have been putting up a number of hours to try and put myself in a good shape for the Open and other top events this year, and I am hoping to start with the Muthaiga Open,’’ said Njogu.

The tough playing course which was flooded during the Kenya Ladies Golf Union Chairman’s Prize, is once again in good condition and ready to host the country’s elite amateur golfers.

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Meanwhile, the par 73 Nakuru Golf Club course in Nakuru County, is the venue this weekend, of ninth leg of the East Africa Breweries Limited-sponsored Johnnie Walker golf series.

Coming just a week after the eighth leg at the scenic Limuru Country Club course, this weekend’s tournament which is open to golfers from all the clubs in the Central Rift region, has attracted a field of 188 though club captain Hillary Korir says the field is likely to reach the 200 mark by the time the event tees off on Saturday.

“Not all the players including those from the sponsors had been received at the time of doing the draw, so we expect more players to turn up,’’ said Korir. He said though the course is still green, it is slowly getting dry and with the balls running, a condition which he says may favour middle and high handicappers.

It will however be a battle between those in the high handicap bracket and some of the club’s low handicaps such as Shem Orwenyo currently playing off handicap four, Sarat Singh (2), Zaheer Fazal (8) and the captain himself who is playing off handicap six.

In the ladies section, the battle will be between Esther Karuga, Eleanor Wambui, Clem Muli, and Halima Mwende among others. During the Kiambu leg two weeks ago, Thika Sports Club’s Patrick Ciano posted an impressive score of 38 points to lead the guests. He is among the guests drawn in Nakuru where others include Lavin Asego and Newton Ongalo from Kakamega.

At Ruiru Sports Club, the club management has organized a special event to officially launch its course irrigation project that has been going on since last May. The project on the 18-hole course along Thika Road, is an opportunity for the club to bolster its bid to attract local, regional and international golf tournaments.

Club captain Peter Mwaura said KRA Commissioner General Githii Mburu will be the chief guest during the commissioning, while other top guests will include former Nation Media Group CEO Linus Gitahi, and Kenya Golf Union (KGU) Chairman Anthony Murage.

Over 200 golfers will meanwhile be battling it out for an array of prizes during the event which will be teeing off from noon in a Gun start.

Kiambu Golf Club will meanwhile host the Madison Insurance tournament while Royal Nairobi will be staging the Ladies Invitation.

At Nyali Golf and Country Club Mombasa, the par 71 course will host the second edition of the Hatua Network charity golf tournament which is being sponsored by Petro Oil Kenya limited and other sponsors.

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