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Pairs Kalya and Keter emerge top at Muthaiga in the International Pairs Tourney

 KGU Executive Ndiga Kithae (middle) presents a prize to the winning pair Edward Keter (left) and Bill Kalya. [Maafrufu Mohamed, Standard]

Kericho Golf Club’s  Bill Kalya and Edward Keter were crowned champions  of the International Pairs qualifying Golf tournament played at the par 71 Muthaiga Golf Club Course in Nairobi on Saturday.

Handicap 10 Kalya and handicap 19 Keter both made equal contribution in returning a combined score of 47 stable ford points to emerge the overall champions.

Kalya capitalized on the Par 3s getting at least 2 points in 4 out of the 5 holes and an eagle on par 5 hole 7 to secure 4 points for the duo.

Keter on the other hand came to the rescue on the longer holes and maximized on his handicap strokes getting the much needed 3 points in 3 holes and 4 points in the par 4 hole 8.

Home players, Josiah Mwaniki and Patrick Mbagaya were the runners up with a three way count back score of 44 points.

They had tied on the same combined  score with the pair of  Erick Mutai and Julius Rono  who were third  and  the fourth placed pair of  Fredrick Wagura and Rebecca Njui while  the pair of James Kamenchu and George Mburu who also  had the same score were placed fifth.

The five pairs all qualified to the Kenya Grand Finale to be held on 1st September this year at a venue yet to be named.

The top three pairs from the Grand Finale will qualify for the fully funded golf trip to Portugal expected to be held at the Royal Obidos Spa & Golf Resort and Bom Successor Resort between  6th-10th November this year.

The event at Muthaiga is the first of the seven club qualifying events that will be held in different regions of the country and the second event will be held on 15th July at Nyahururu Sports Club to be followed by 22nd July at Kericho Golf Club.

Mutai and Rono are seeking another ticket to Portugal having been part of the 4 pairs that travelled to La Cala Hotel & Golf Resort, Spain on 14-18 November 2022 for the 2022 World Finals.

Kenya Golf Union (KGU) Executive Ndiga Kithae, speaking on behalf of the KGU Chairman Philip Ochola, appreciated Muthaiga Golf Club for hosting the tournament and informed the members of the value gained in participating in the series.

“Portugal has more than 30 golf estates and this opportunity presents a chance to our players to experience and learn from the country, “said Kithae.

 Wanjiku Kinyeru makes a swing to the second greens at the sea-link Mombasa Golf course. [Maarufu Mohamed, Standard]

Ndiga further urged the members present to introduce friends and juniors to golf and to continue supporting the initiatives of the union.

According to the rules of the event, Mixed pairs are allowed in the competition where the best stable ford points calculated off 85% handicap allowance are picked for the team per hole and summed up to arrive at the team score.

All golfers who are 18 years and above and have a valid WHS handicap index are eligible to play.

Kenya has participated in the International Pairs in the years 2019, 2021 and 2022 with a break in 2020 due to the Corona Pandemic.

Since the start of the series in 2019, 7 pairs have so far participated in the fully paid trip to the World Grand Finale.

Those who participated for the finals in 2019 at Penina Golf Resort, Portugal include the pairs of Mike Karanga with Steve Kiaro, James Kamenchu with Anthony Murage and Bhamra Bilu with Romy Sandhu.

In 2022, Saawan Shah with Jay Varia, Chand Shah with Kush Shah, Julius Rono with Eric Mutai and Steve Kiaro with David Gitao participated in the finals at La Cala Golf Resort in Spain.

The pair of Chand Shah with Kush Shah finished as runners ups in the World Finals just one point behind the winners from Namibia Johannes Damon and Hylton Villet.

At the Sea-Link Mombasa Golf Course  on the same day, the Club’s immediate Captain Lawrence Odhiambo  playing off handicap 12 proved  he is still the master of the Course  after carding an excellent 68 nett  to grab  the  July Mug trophy in  the top  A Category  of players.

Handicap 6 George Githinji on 72 nett and handicap 6 Eric Nyongesa with 73 nett were the runners up and third placed respectively.

The event sponsored by the Club saw  left handed  handicap 15 Victor Simbi  claim  the B division category on 66 nett  while handicap 15 Peter Munge  was the runners up on 71 nett and  Clifford Tollo playing off handicap 18  was third with 75nett.

The Division C was won by handicap 19 Bernard Simiyu on 63 nett ahead of handicap 23 Paul Koech  who was  the runners up while taking the third slot was  handicap 20 Francis Muthamia  on 65 nett.

George Githinji  carded a seven over par 78 gross to win the  Best gross prize while handicap 30 Fidelis Odumo on 81 nett and handicap 7 Oscar Mukuria  with 83 nett were the division C  and  Best guest winners respectively.

The Ladies July Medal in Division one  was won by handicap 16 Wanjiku Kinyeru  who had a score of 80 nett  and  Sandra Mundia  playing off handicap 15 carded 83 nett to emerge  the runners up.

Handicap 26 Susan Mwangi on 74 nett and handicap 23 Glady’s Kasi with 78 nett were the Division two and runners up winners respectively.

And at the Kenya Railways Golf Club course  also on the same day, handicap 24 George Oraro  carded 40 points  to emerge the overall winner of the  Chloride Exide  golf tournament beating handicap 9 John Kimenya  to the  men's winner slot  by a  two points difference.

Willis Wasala playing off handicap 11 was the Men runners up on 37 points and handicap 20 Kariuki Muchemi settled for the third slot after carding 36 points.

The Lady winner  was handicap 21 Millicent Mello  who had a score of 39 points  while handicap 27 Ruth  Mwangi on 34 points  and handicap  26 Florence Kamau  with 31 points were the runners up and third placed respectively.

Tom Osoro playing off handicap 8 won the  Gross prize with 85 gross  while handicap 25 Dr.Ndegwa Gichuhi  brought 36 points to win the  Senior prize and taking  the Junior prize was handicap 22 Jimmy Semenye  with a score of 36 points.

The Sponsor prize was  claimed by handicap 18 Richard Muli on 30 points and handicap 27 Leigh Mbuthia brought 41 points to win the Guest prize.

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