GOLF: Great action is expected at the 86th Kenya Amateur Match Play

By Mose Sammy: Wednesday, June 13th 2018 at 21:12 GMT +3 | Golf
[PHOTO: COURTESY]

Great action is expected when the 86th Kenya Amateur Match Play gets underway at Thika Greens golf resort today.

The event, organized by Kenya golf union alongside Kenya amateur stroke play championship, has attracted 43 amateurs chasing top honors. Golfers accrue points that count towards the Kenya amateur championship, formerly the Golfer of the year (Goty) series and played under a knockout format.

Playing off handicap one, John Karichu aka Kenya One, will be in action. The Limuru golf and country club's golfer is enjoying his best form lately despite losing to Vet lab's handicap two Mike Kisia, who won Coronation & Bendor Cup in Nakuru two weeks ago.

"This an interesting game where I want to look for pars and, at the best, avoid bogeys. If a birdie comes my way, well and good," said Karichu.

"We expect high caliber golfing here starting today as the course is in good condition. KGU executives inspected it last early this month and a lot has been done to improve the tournament," said Minnie.

Other top contenders are South Africa based top amateur and last year's Stroke play champion Daniel Nduva of Nyali golf and country club, who jetted back into the country on Tuesday night.

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Karichu is expecting stiff competition from second ranked Vet Lab's Edwin Mudanyi.

"It's a strong and competitive field. It's not going to be easy out there," said Mudanyi,

"I am banking on the execution of my game plan which I am intending to stick to it." said Nduva, who plays off handicap two and has featured in many events while in the junior ranks.

Meanwhile a hundred and fifty local and international pros including top amateurs head to the par 72, Karen country club as the hunt for the Sh 15 million prize fund gets underway from July 17 - 22.

Among those who've trained their eyes on the prize money are 100 top golfers from the Sunshine tour including 32 Kenyan pros and 20 from within the region.

Kenya commercial bank has launched the second edition of the KCB Karen Masters, a fully sanctioned Sunshine Tour event with Sh 15 million in prize money.

The tournament, slated to run from July 17th -22nd, 2018 will be held at the par 72 Karen Country Club and will see 152 local and international pros and 4 top amateurs battle it out for the top honors—the Blue Jacket. This includes 100 top Sunshine Tour golfers, 32 local pros and 20 regional pros.

The backing by the South Africa based Sunshine Tour and the allure of playing at such a world class event is fundamental for the growth of golf in the African Continent.

“This is a great avenue for more golfers to play at our prestigious tournament. We are redefining the golfing experience as we engage with golfers across Kenya,” said KCB Group HR Director Paul Russo.

 

“The event is imperative for the development of golf in Kenya and the move will resonate at many levels with our agenda to grow sports in East Africa as one of the biggest sponsors across disciplines,” he added.

The Bank has set aside Sh 12 million in the sponsorship while Karen Country Club has also reached out to other sponsors to support the event.

This year’s showdown presents four days of pros competition, two days of pro-am tournament and a junior golf clinic, KCB said. KCB Karen Masters Tournament Director Andy Watt said: “We have been working round the clock to meet the deadlines and I am happy to present a great course and facilities for the 2018 KCB Karen Masters”.

There will be a cut on Friday 20th July that will see 152 golfers reduced to 70 leading golfers who will compete for top honors on Saturday and Sunday.

The event is a culmination of the KCB Road to the Masters, a KCB-sponsored five-leg series that is expected to generate 30 amateur winners to play at the Pro-am. The five events were set for Ruiru (May 12) Limuru Golf Club (May 26), and Eldoret Golf Club (June 16). Nyali (June 30) and Muthaiga (July 7).

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