Muthaiga Golf Club’s Greg Snow beat Simon Ngige of Thika Sports Club by five shots, to claim the 11th leg of the 2019/20 Safari Tour Golf series at Karen Country Club course on Wednesday.
Snow who took the lead in round three, fired three under par 68 in the final round despite picking up two double bogeys on the 15th and 16th holes, for an all rounds total of four under par 280. Like in most of his rounds, Snow dropped a shot at the par four-first (usually the 13th hole in the ordinary Karen course). He however collected four birdies at the second, third, fourth and sixth to go six under halfway through the round.
He set off for the back nine with a birdie at the 10th, and later on at the 12th and 14th, “I lost focus at the 15th after waiting for the team ahead of us, and that made me hit a bad shot which resulted in the double bogey. This happened again at the 16th, though I must say, I played well and I am happy with my round,’’ said Snow who also birdied the 17th and who said the course over the last two rounds offered a great opportunity for one to play well.
“There was no wind in the last two rounds and it was easy for one to make some birdies depending on how you took off from the tee,’’ added Snow who will now take a break until next Monday when he will resume his preparation for Kenya Open. His victory, the fifth in the Safari Tour this season, earned him a total of Sh450,000 while Ngige who carded two under par 69 in the final round for one over par 285, took home Sh300,000.
His round six birdies, four of them at the first nine and at the back nine’s 12th and 17th, as well as three bogeys on the 11th, 13th and 15th denied him a lower score. “I had taken off well at the first nine where I managed to get four birdies and had a good chance of catching up with Snow until I dropped the two shots at the 13th and 15th holes,’’ said Ngige who finished second in the points ranking behind long-hitting Dismas Indiza who made one birdie and an eagle three with four bogeys in his card for one over par 72 and a total of two over par 286 which he needed to top the points table with a total of 463.1 points.
Royal Nairobi Golf Club’s Erick Ooko finished fourth overall with 287, just a shot adrift Indiza, after firing one over par 72 in the final round. He was also placed fourth in the series with 381.3 points.
A total of eight Kenyan players qualified for the Magical Kenya Open. They are Dismas Indiza, Simon Ngige, Greg Snow, Erick Ooko, David Wakhu, John Wangai, Riz Charania and Entebbe Open champion Justus Madoya who tied for 15th place in the 11th leg with a score of 11 over par 295.
Missing a place in the open narrowly were Tony Omuli of Golf Park and Thika Greens Resort’s Kopan Timbe who failed to make the cut at Karen. Meanwhile as expected, Zimbabwe’s Robson Chinhoi and Nigeria’s Andrew Odoh booked their places in the Open scheduled for Karen Country Club from March 12 to 15.
Chinhoi shot the tournament’s lowest round of four over par 67 in the closing round for four over par 288 to tie for fifth place while Odoh who shot three over par 74, was placed 12th overall in the Order of Merit and second for the regional players. He will join Chinhoi and eight Kenyans in the Open.