Thika Sports Club’s Simon Ngige beat both John Wangai and Royal Nairobi’s Erick Ooko in a sudden death play-off at the par three-13th hole, to clinch the top prize in the Crown Paints Pro Invitational at Muthaiga Golf Club on Friday.
The trio had tied on one over par 285 at the end of the regulation play hence had to go for the play-off to decide on who takes the top prize of Sh150,000.
During the play off, Ngige rolled in a two club while Wangai and Ooko parred the hole, to tie for the second place where each one walked home with Sh90,000.
Ngige had shot level par 71 in the final round where both Wangai and Ooko fired two under par 69 to force the play off with Ngige. Three-putting denied Wangai the title though he said his game was good. “The course was playing long because of the rains, though the greens remained true and nice, but I three-putted the seventh and eighth and at the back nine’s 12th hole. If I got pars on those holes, I would have easily won the tournament," said Wangai, who is also the captain of the Professional Golfers of Kenya (PGK).
He had made birdies on holes two, three and four before picking up a bogey at the eighth. But despite picking a bogey at the 12th, he ended the day well, firing a birdie at the 18th for the day’s 69. Ooko, on the handicap, dropped a shot at the ninth after making a birdie at the fourth, it was however at the back nine where birdied the 10th and 11th to also finish on 69.
Windsor’s Riz Charania meanwhile dropped to fourth place on 287 after returning one over par 72 in the final round, just a shot better than Ganeev Giddie who scored an impressive four under par 67, the best round in the last day for a total of 288.
The birdie-starving Giddie picked up birdies on the first, third, fourth and seventh. He, however, made a triple bogey on the par three-fifth, recovered one shot at the nine, then birdied the 12th and 17th to wind up the Sh1 million event in style.
A total of 18 players had made the second round cut in the Crown Paints sponsored tournament out of the 38 players who turned up at Muthaiga.
The Final Leader board:
285 Simon Ngige (Thika) 70, 71, 73, 71*
285 John Wangai (Sigona) 73, 70, 73, 69
285 Erick Ooko (Royal) 74, 74, 68, 69
287 Riz Charania (Windsor) 71, 77, 67, 72
288 Ganeev Giddie (Muthaiga), 77, 72, 72, 67
292 Tony Omuli (Golf Park) 73, 72, 73, 74
292 David Opati (Windsor) 74, 72, 72, 74
295 Justus Madoya ( Great Rift Resort) 72, 77, 77, 69
295 Dismas Indiza (Mumias) 72, 72, 78, 73
295 Edwin Mudanyi (Vet Lab) 77, 71, 72, 75