The 2019 Nation Classic Golf series, which marks its 34th anniversary this year, making it the longest running golf series in the country, enters its second leg at the par 72 Nanyuki Sports Club course in Laikipia County this weekend.
Making a return to the difficult nine-hole Nanyuki course, for the first time since 2017, this weekend’s tournament has attracted a field of 152 players. The field includes 36 guests drawn from various clubs in the country as well as staff of the Nation Media Group.
At stake in the one day event which follows the first leg at Nyanza Golf Club Kisumu on March 23, will be over a dozen prizes for golfers from the Mountain region as well guests and staff. In addition, the top four players plus a junior and lady winner will earn a place in the final event of the series to be held at Limuru Country Club on November 2.
During the 2017 event, Richard Kabugi beat a field of over 100 players, to emerge the overall winner, hence will be defending his title against a strong field that include last weekend’s winner of the Heritage golf tournament Jediel Muriungi, and others like John Mathai, Stephen Muteithia, Gachai Githinji who all played well last weekend.
“The course was playing fairly easy though at the moment, it favours low handicap players who are able to hit the greens on regulation," said Muriungi after his brilliant round of level par 42 points, a round that included five birdies, four of them in a row from the 14th hole. He beat Githinji by two points while Mathai, Muteithia and Nyeri’s Paul Wangai all posted 38 points.
Kabugi had a poor 24 points last weekend but he says this weekend’s event may be his breakthrough having been on the course daily since last weekend’s event. “I have gone through the course several times this week and if all goes well, I should be able to play well on Saturday," said Kabugi. On Friday, the Nation Media Group will donate text books worth Sh150,000 to Laikipia County Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre (LARREC).
The Centre was opened in 1994 by the then Municipal Council of Nanyuki to rehabilitate and host street children in and around Nanyuki. The Centre hosts 80 children between the age of four and 18 years, 40 of them in primary school, 14 in high school, three in college and one who is expected to join university.
The county provides basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing, health care and education hence the need for learning material such as text books.
Meanwhile, golfers playing at the nine-hole Kiambu Golf Club course this weekend, will have the opportunity of a free medical check- up.
This will be in addition to some prizes, and lots of “Free drops’’ at the 19th hole during the Hon Kanini Kega golf Day event, which follows last weekend’s third leg of the country-wide Crown Silicone golf series.
Besides Kanini Kega, the event has also attracted the sponsorship of Medheal Group of Hospitals courtesy of Kesses MP Dr Swarup “Kiprop’’ Mishra.
Kanini Kega, a popular golfer not only in Kiambu Golf Club but in other clubs in the country, has invited a number of guests to join the club members thus, the event has attracted an overwhelming field of 170 players.
The field is by no means more than what a nine-hole course can handle though Kiambu has hosted similar fields at the past particularly if they tee off from as early as 6am.
Meanwhile at the great Thiga Greens Golf Resort, it will be the turn of the Sunset, Mulembe, Great Rift, and Sweet Banana teams in the on-going Inter County Golf Challenge. The Sunset team, captained by former Mombasa Golf Club captain Silyvester Odhiambo, draws its players from the Nyanza region while Mulembe will have golfers from Kakamega, Vihiga, Busia and Bungoma.
Vet Lab Sports Club’s Kepha Bosire will lead the Sweet Banana team whose players come from Kisii County. All will be battling it out for the individual and team title in the Ponyea India Medicare. At stake in the event that has attracted over 200 players, will be 10 free medical check-ups in India for four teams in addition to trophies.
Still in Thika, the military Thika Barracks golf course will host the Kenya Defence Forces Golf Association (KDFGA) Chairman’s Prize which has attracted a field of 100 golfers.
Ruiru Sports Club will for the first time host the Britam Golf tournament which has attracted 150 players with club captain Peter Mwaura still accepting post entries.