Pros Mudanyi, Mabele eye Safari Tour spots at Rift Valley Lodge

Vet Lab Sports Club's Edwin Mudanyi during the annual diplomatic golf tournament at Windsor Golf and Hotel Country Club on Friday, June 17, 2022. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

More than 100 golfers battled for glory in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Annual Golf Tournament at the par 72 Windsor Golf Hotel and Country Club in Nairobi yesterday.

The event attracted diplomats, international players and local pros who used it to sharpen their skills ahead of the annual Safari Tour series which is expected to tee off soon.

“I am glad to honour the invitation. I am using this tournament to step up my game for the opening leg of the Safari Tour slated for Great Rift Valley Lodge and Golf Resort in Naivasha in the coming weeks,” said Kevin Mabele, the Kenya Air Force Golf Club pro.

Mabele is fresh from contesting in a golf championship in Arusha, Tanzania, which is part of his off season preparations for the Safari Tour series.

“My target this year is to perform well in the circuit in order to qualify for next year’s Magical Kenya Open (MKO), where my intention is to make the cut,” said Mabele.

Vet Lab Sports Club pro Edwin Mudanyi said he was happy to play against distinguished diplomats in the tournament.

“I have missed playing on this lush green course for a year or two now due to the restrictions that were brought about by Covid-19 pandemic.

“Playing on this fairways is always a good test due to its challenging pin positions and the bunkers,” Mudanyi said.

Mudanyi feels his game has improved due to practices he has had after this year’s MKO held at Muthaiga Golf Club in Nairobi in March.

He is among the seven Kenyan golfers who are fresh from taking part in the just concluded Ivory Coast Open where four players made the cut.

Others who were part of the Ivory Coast Tour are Professional Golfers of Kenya captain C.J Wangai, Jastas Madoya of Great Rift Lodge, Erick Ooko of Golf Park and Muthaiga junior golfer Mutahi Kibugu.

“Ivory Coast was a great exposure, it was an expensive trip but worth it. It helped us  push ourselves beyond our limits. We are glad to have competed against some of the finest golfers from around the globe,” Mudanyi said.

Standard Group PLC Chief Executive Officer Orlando Lyomu, who was in the fifth batch to tee off at the Diplomatic Golf Tournament, expected a great day in the championships saying he was hopeful to overcome the tough course.

“Everyone has come here to win. But even if they don’t achieve it, the most important thing is they network and make new friends,” Lyomu said.

Lyomu’s group comprised of Tectura-International Director Kevin Mbugua, Kenya Proffessional Realty Association Chairman Peter Wairegi and  Robert Ramazan of Oceaneering.

“Our members have just met for the first time which is the essence of golf. In this sport, you just don’t play but also meet new people in your life,” said Lyomu.

Martin Njoroge, a caddy at Windsor, said the tournament gave him an opportunity to make some money since competitions have been scarce on the course due to the restrictions brought about by Covid-19 pandemic.