Home player Erick Ooko completed a four rounds total of six under par 282, to claim the fourth leg of the Kenya Open qualifying series at Royal Nairobi Golf Club on Thursday.
Ooko, who led from start to finish, fired two under par 70 in the final round, win by a six shots margin from Nyali’s Njuguna Ngugi.
“My game has been good since we started the series as I am driving well, chipping and putting well though I think it’s because I’m mentally stable at the moment due to the training we went through recently,” said Ooko.
It was his first and second holes birdies in addition to a third one at the fifth which propelled him to the four under par score.
“I dropped a shot at the par five-15th but that was basically the only hole I did not play well. I will continue working hard as we approach the Kenya Open where I really want to play well so that I get a chance of travelling for other international events,” added Ooko.
On the other hand, the Coast-based Ngugi bogeyed two holes at the front nine where he only birdied at the par five-second.
He, however, dropped a shot at the 13th after starting the back nine with a birdie though it was the double bogey at the long par four-16th which denied him and an under par finish as he later birdied the 17th and 18th for one over par 73 and a level par total of 288.
Vet Lab’s Mathew Omondi finished third on 292 despite carding a 74 in the closing round.
Though the local pros have not been able to find a sponsor to support them, they have decided to soldier on with the Kenya Open preparation with the fifth leg set for Windsor Golf Hotel and Country Club from Monday next week.
“The boys have decided to play on and qualify for the Open even though there is no sponsor,” said Professional Golfers of Kenya (PGK) tournament director Elisha Kasuku.
Kasuku also said this year’s Jamii Telkom at Sigona has been cancelled since the club decided to give the reserved date to another sponsor.
“It’s very sad that an action by a club official has cost the local pros two million shillings which Jamii Telkom had set aside for the pros in the Jamii Telkom PGK Masters,” Kasuku said PGK will stage the event at Muthaiga even without a sponsor.
The final leader board at Royal:
282 Erick Ooko 71, 71, 70, 70
288 Njuguna Ngugi 75, 71, 69, 73
292 Mathew Omondi 74, 73, 71, 74
293 David Wakhu 76, 72, 72, 73
294 Nicholas Rokoine 74, 71, 72, 77
295 David Opati 71, 74, 76, 74
299 Alfred Nandwa 75, 75, 75, 74
299 Jeff Kubwa 76, 74, 74, 75
300 Tony Omuli 80, 77, 69, 74
300 Anil Shah 72, 75, 78, 75