Odoh holds off Indiza to win Kitante Open

Wednesday March 18 2020
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Nigeria’s Andrew Oche Odoh follows the flight of his shot from the first tee during the seventh leg of the 2019/2020 Safari Tour at Thika Greens Golf Resort on January 6, 2020 .PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT |

IN KAMPALA

Nigeria's Andrew Oche Odoh beat Kenya's Dismas Indiza by two shots, to claim the Kitante Open golf title at the par 72 Uganda Golf Club course on Saturday.

This was Odoh's first victory in the Safari Tour.

Odoh, who missed the ninth leg of the Safari Tour at Sigona, posted two over par 74 in the closing round after making a total of seven bogeys with five birdies in a tense final round where he had been drawn with two of the players who have also been chasing the two regional slots in the Magical Kenya Open, Philip Kasozi of Uganda and Zimbabwe's Robson Chinhoi.

"I am very very happyto win my first event in East Africa and the first in the Safari Tour. The Safari Tour has opened a chance for other African players to play in the Magical Kenya Open besides the Kenyans. With more prize money, many more players from different regions will come
over and play," said Odoh. The Nigerian said he played a solid game though he made some bogeys which he should not have made them.

"I knew I was playing with two of the top players who are also chasing a place in the Kenya Open, but I was focused on my game and did not pay
attention to what they were doing," added Odoh.

He had started with a birdie at the par five-first, but dropped a shot soon after at the second. He made a birdie at the fifth only to drop it at the sixth and seventh. He completed the front nine with a birdie at the eighth. But like many players, he dropped shots at the 10th and 11th, and at the 13th and 15th but recovered two shots at the 14th and 16th, made a par at the 18th for a four rounds total of two under par 286.

Indiza, who was playing ahead of the leading group, was breathing fire and almost went ahead of the Nigerian until he made a double bogey at
the 10th after a poor putt, having dropped his first shot of the day at second and later on at the 11th.

"Save for the double bogey and the three putts at the 11th, I was going to claim the title, though I am happy with my second place finish. The greens were very difficult to read after all those amateurs who had played in the morning ahead of the pros," said Indiza, who shot one under par 71 for level par total of 288. His round included birdies at the first, third, fourth, eighth and 13th.

Zimbabwean Chinhoi meanwhile made a double at the 15th, and dropped shot at the 16th having also bogeyed the second, ninth and 12th holes for one over par 73 and a total of two over par 290 to finish third.

It was a tough going for home pro Kasozi who made two double bogeys and three singles for three over par 75. He finished fourth. A total of 56 players had entered the tournament where only 21 made the second round cut. The chase for points now shift to Karen Country Club in two weeks' time for the final leg.

The leader board:
Andrew Oche Odoh (Nig) 71, 73, 68, 74= 286

Dismas Indiza (Ken) 72, 74, 71, 71= 288

Robson Chinhoi (Zim) 71, 75, 71,73= 290

Philip Kasozi(Ug) 69, 75, 72, 75= 291

Ronald Rugumayo(Ug) 74, 76, 68, 74= 292

Edwin Mudanyi(Ken) 69, 75, 73, 75= 292

Mathew Omondi(Ken) 73, 73, 73, 74= 293

Dennis Anguyo(UG) 75, 75, 71, 74= 295

Simon Ngige (Ken) 73, 76, 71, 75= 295