Nyali junior golfer Nathan Ngweno over the weekend hit his career best round of 40 stableford points, to claim the overall title at the challenging Nyali Golf and Country Club course during the third leg of the 2019 Nation Classic Golf series which attracted a field of 158 golfers.
The 14-year-old Ngweno, a grade nine student at Mombasa Academy who was playing off handicap 13, made nine pars though it was the birdie at the par five-11th which worked magic for him as he followed it with a couple of pars for an impressive back nine score of 22 points having started with 18 at the front nine.
“I am feeling really great, it's amazing beating a big field of seasoned golfers, and I must thank professional Fred Kamau who changed my game completely. He gave me the confidence I really needed and helped me improve my swing,’’ said Nathan.
His victory saw him lower his handicap from 13 to 12 thus qualifying to play in next weekend’s Coast Open at the Mombasa Golf Club.
Making his winning speech, Nathan thanked the Nation Media Group (NMG) for supporting golf in the country and Nyali golf club for supporting the juniors.
“Everything today was amazing, the prizes are wonderful and on the course, I had a wonderful four ball and I must thank them for giving me a great challenge,’’ added Nathan who started golf at the age of seven though it was last year December when he decided to seriously start playing from handicap 28.
He beat men winner Liban Roba formerly of Nanyuki Sports Club who carded 39 points playing off handicap 10 to take the men’s first prize ahead of Allan Mola and third-placed Sammy Mwangi Kamau who combined 20 and 18 against Molla’s 18 and 20. The evergreen Christine Ockotch, a former Nyali lady chairman, was also in great form as she posted 18 and 21 for a total of 39 points to claim the ladies first prize.
In second place was Mary Kandu with a score of 35 points while John Smith took the seniors prize with a score of 34 points. Kelly Rob went home with the junior title after posting 37 points playing off handicap seven. Taking the staff prize was Yours Truly though with only 25 points, with Sigona’s Cyllus Onyango emerging the best guest with 33 points, winning well ahead of Thika Sports Club’s Maina Ruo.
In the subsidiary events, long hitter George Munyao hit a massive 335 yards, to claim the longest drive contest in addition to the nearest to pin prize while Purity Mutinda was the longest drive lady winner.
The fourth leg of the Nation Classic series, now in its 34th year, will take place at Eldoret Golf Club on September 7. Meanwhile Nathan Ngweno, Liban Roba, Allan Mola, Sammy Kamau and Christine Ockotch will be invited to play in the grand finale at Limuru Country Club on November 2.
Speaking during the prize giving ceremony, NMG chairman Dr. Wilfred Kiboro said the company will maintain its values of good journalism as it has been the case over the past 60 years.
“The Nation Media Group which started 60 years ago has stood with the people of Kenya. We have continued through our various platforms, to transform the lives of Kenyans by reporting on their issues. That transformation will continue and as we embark on the next 60 years, we will tell it as it is to support the war of fighting corruption and other ills. We will also continue empowering the people,’’ said Kiboro who thanked the residents of Mombasa and the Coast region as a whole for their continued support of NMG.
Also present during the function was Lamu County deputy governor Abdulhakim Aboud who said they will work closely with the Nation Media group in various development programmes. The deputy governor, who was accompanied by Lamu East MP Shariff Ali, thanked NMG for highlighting a number of issues affecting his county.