Wakhu keeps hope alive as Harding commands leader board

Local golfer David Wakhu checks the direction of the wind during Day Three of the Kenya Savannah Classic at the Karen Country Club in Nairobi on March 25, 2021. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

Kenya's David Wakhu hit three over par 74 on Thursday for total three rounds of five under par 208 to keep alive his hopes of lifting the Kenya Savannah Classic trophy.

The European Tour tournament ends today at Karen Golf and Country Club in Nairobi.

Wakhu had level par in the first five holes at the front nine. He then picked a birdie in the par-5 6th and the par-4 9th.

He struggled with fatigue at the back nine, only picking a birdie in the par-5 12th before slumping to bogeys in the 13th, 15th,16th holes and a double bogey in the 18th hole.

At the same time, Justin Harding of South Africa, who won Kenya Open last week, got his groove back to return to the top of the standings on total three rounds of 17 under par 196.

On fire Harding has opened a three shot margin going to the final today.

Aaron Rai, the 2017 Kenya Open champion closed the day on total eight under par 205 after picking six birdies in  round three as he cleared on four under par 67.

Former Kenya Open champions Gagli Lorenzo (2018), Haydn Porteous (2015) and Guido Migliozzi (2019) failed to make the cut after the money bracket passage was raised to four under par 138.

A European Tour official patrols the course on March 25, 2021. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

Meanwhile, Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed has said Kenya should continue hosting the back-to-back European Tour golf events to market the country to the outside world.

She suggested that the events need to be spread across more venues in the country to give visiting players and the rest of the world a feel of Kenya's diverse offering in sports.

“What our request has been to the European Tour is not to make this a one-off. That we should continue having these two events (Kenya Open and the  Savannah) back-to-back.

"Hopefully, we can even have three events and have them across the nation to take a break from Karen that has been such a wonderful host venue. It's the first time that we have two championships back-to-back.

"We feel extremely privileged, and I think it gives us that badge of honour, but it also allows Kenya to be seen as a sporting destination.

"As you know, we have hosted very many sporting events and so having this additional tournament being held here just confirms that we are actually a sporting giant on the continent,” she added.