Newly crowned Mombasa Cup champion Kellie Gachaga was three shots ahead of the top placed boys going into Thursday’s final round of the 2018 Kenya National Junior Strokeplay championship at the par 71 Muthaiga Golf Club course.
Now based in Dubai and soon heading to the United States, Gachaga, carded six over par 77 in the third round on Wednesday to bring her total scores to gross 228.
She set off for the day with a birdie at the first hole, though she followed that with three bogeys on the second, fourth, and fifth, picked up a double bogey at the sixth. She recovered one at the seventh only to drop a shot there after.
She, however, closed the front nine with a birdie at the ninth.
“Had a wayward second shot at the sixth where I got stuck in some thick rough. I was not able to hit the green in three. But my round in general was pretty controlled,” said Gachaga.
“I didn’t have any crazy holes, though I didn’t play as well as I would have liked to,’’ she added.
Her back nine was not a smooth one also as she picked up three bogeys two of them back to back (15th, 16th) and the third one coming at the home green.
Boys' defending champion Mutahi Kibugu shot five over par 76 in the third round, to tie with round one leader Taimur Malik of Windsor and Muthaiga’s Emmanuel Njugu on 231.
Kibugu doubled the first and sixth, parred the rest of the holes in the nine, started the back nine with a birdie at the 10th and closed with one more at the 18th though with two bogeys in between (15th and 16th), to keep his hopes of retaining the title alive’.
Njugu carded 78 while Malik posted 79 for all to finish on 231. The best round of the day, a 75, was posted by Akshay Chandaria for a total of 232.
He also stands a great chance of clinching the boys title depending on how he plays in the final round.
Meanwhile, following Gachaga in the girls section, was Ashley Awuor from the Rose Naliaka Academy on 245 after her lowest round of 77 gross.
The leaderboard after the close of round three of the Crown Paints sponsored championship;
Kellie Gachaga 77, 74, 77 228
Mutahi Kibugu 77, 78, 76 231
Emmanuel Njugu 77, 76, 78 231
Taimur Malik 72, 80, 79 231
Akshay Chandaria 81, 76, 75 232
Zubair Khan 80, 78, 78 236
Njoroge Kibugu 85, 76, 77 238
Brian Omondi 81, 76, 81 238.