Kenya Railway Golf Club’s Samuel Njoroge Sunday completed a four-round total of eight over par 296 gross at the par 72 Sigona Golf Club course, to become the new Kenya Amateur Open Stroke play champion.
The 23-year-old Njoroge, playing off plus one handicap and who won the Tea Fields Trophy in Kericho last weekend, shot two over par 74 in the final round, to win six shots from the youngster Taimur Malik of Windsor Golf Hotel and Country Club who carded 77 in the closing round for a total of 302 gross.
It was a tough day though for the on-form Njoroge who now qualifies for next year’s Kenya Open, as he picked up a double bogey at the par four-sixth hole.
“I drove to the bush, hit the second and third and approach shot through the bush, made two putts,’’ said Njoroge who later birdied the eighth and 17th but with two single bogeys on the 10th and 17th.
“I am happy to qualify for the Kenya Open, but I really have to work hard to improve my short game especially putting which has been wanting,’' assessed Njoroge who won the Nyanza Open in July, and the Karen Challenge in September.
Besides qualifying for the 2019 Kenya Open, Njoroge formerly of Njoro Country Club, also leapt to the top of the Kenya Amateur Golf Championship (KAGC) series with a total 481.1 points after picking up 100 points at Sigona.
He is ahead of Limuru’s John Karichu who only got 22 for 477.8 with defending champion of the series Edwin Mudanyi in third place on 333.8 ahead of club-mate Mike Kisia on 313 while Kenya Amateur Match play champion Daniel Nduva who did not turn up at Sigona, is fifth on 264 points.
But back to the Strokeplay, the Windsor lad Malik made five single bogeys, a double and only two birdies on the 11th and 14th to beat Dubai based Bradley Mogire on countback for the second place as the 18 year old Mogire who had a string of bogeys, carded seven over par 79 having fired rounds of 76 and 74 in the second and third rounds.
“I had several bad shots particularly in the final round, though I am happy finishing third in my first event in Kenya. Would like to come back and play a couple of events more’’ said Mogire who plays at the Emirates Golf Club in Dubai where he has been living since he was a year and half old.
Taking the overall nett title in the championship which attracted players from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, was Shiv Shah of Sigona on 296 nett, beating Ruiru Sports Club’s Ben Omondi on countback while Kericho’s Victor Maiyo was third on 298 nett.
The final leaderboard:
296 Samuel Njoroge 74, 73, 75, 74
302 Taimur Malik 78, 70, 77, 77
302 Bradley Mogire 73, 76, 74, 79
303 Mutahi Kibugu 77, 74, 76, 76
304 John Karichu 75, 78, 75, 76
304 Edwin Mudanyi 79, 71, 75, 79
305 Jay Sandhu 78, 73, 78, 76
306 John Lejirmah 78, 75, 73, 80
306 John Kariuki 72, 75, 82, 77.