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Fierce battle at Eldoret Club as over 100 compete for honours in Standard Golf Classic

Golf

 

 Anika Patel in action during Standard County Golf Classic Series at the par 71 Eldoret Club in Uasin Gishu County yesterday. June 8, 2024. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

Over 100 players had a fierce battle in the Standard County Golf Classic Series held at the par 71 Eldoret Club on Saturday.

Their passion for glory was driven by the exciting prizes that were on offer in the sustainability tournament whose theme was ‘On the Green Course, for the Green Cause’.

Among those who were looking to reclaim the title in the contest supported by Eka Hotel Eldoret, the Eldoret Hospital, Eldoret Club and the Eldoret Technical Training Institute was defending champion Anika Patel and former winner Wesley Kiprono.

Patel struggled in the opening nine, especially in the first four holes where she bogeyed the par-4 fourth.

She was looking forward to making amends in the back nine after the front had dented her confidence in the game.

"Today it's tough, not sure what's happening, nonetheless I'm hopeful to guard the trophy," said Patel who was looking for a three-peat in the showpiece, after triumphing in the tournament in 2014 and 2022.

"I prepared myself by practicing the whole week, including taking part in the Club Nite which I used to rectify some of the mistakes. I hope my batch is going to push me to do better in the front nine," said Patel before she turned for the last nine.

Kiprono, who was paired alongside former Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos, was very hopeful for victory but insisted the greens and the fairways sometimes have their ways in games.

"My first nine was fair, I think the second will be better too," said Kiprono before the turn.

"I didn't prepare for the tournament well because I was in and out of town doing some errands, but my fitness and grip are all in order.

"I did a few rounds on the range ahead of the contest and they should be sufficient to propel me to victory tonight," Kiprono underlined.

Kiprono admitted he had difficulty playing in the morning dew that had gripped the course since his flight teed-off at 7:40am.

He praised the championship, saying it's a great project that is supporting climate actions and environmental conservation.

"We are happy to be part of this tournament, the organisation is top notch, this is a perfect example of what other corporates should learn and follow," stated Kiprono.

Former world half marathon champion and double Boston Marathon winner Moses Tanui, who was paired alongside club pro Andrew Chelogoi, was motivated ahead of his tee-off saying: "I expect to play better, because I trained for two weeks before the D-Day. The calibre of players I have in my group will also definitely push me. All of them are very good participants, and this is well noted from some of the championships they have won of late."

Tanui noted that the tournament was of high profile and very tough due to the entry of several players who had very impressive handicaps.

And did he believe in lifting the trophy tonight?

"Well, this is a competition like any other, anyone can be a champion, I hope to see myself in the podium in any of the categories that will be awarded tonight," Tanui stated.

Tolgos turned up for the tournament in style, ensuring that all of his household members were on the 'ballot'.

The Ex-Governor was hopeful that either him, his daughter, son or the wife who were participating would walk home at least with a trophy.

"Because of the passion that I have for this tournament, I have brought my family to try their luck.

"I think it's good to introduce your children to sport, which is a mega industry that has the potential to change their fortune.

"Every man should promote a sporting culture in their household since sports make you fit and live healthy," said Tolgos who has never missed any leg of the Standard County Golf Classic Series held at the Eldoret Club.

"Personally, I'm enjoying the tournament, I don't think I have played badly so far today," added Tolgos before he turned for the back nine.

Most players had difficulties tackling par-4/fourth and par-3/fifth because of the meandering river bed that traversed six fairways on the pristine course.

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