Kenyan professional Edwin Mudanyi is the winner of the inaugural Savannah Tour golf tournament that ended on Tuesday evening at Muthaiga Golf Club in Nairobi.
The Vet Lab Sports Club player carded a round of 4-under par 67 to clinch the title, beating a strong field that comprised 35 pros and 15 top amateurs.
In the first nine, Mudanyi holed birdies at the fourth, fifth, seventh, and ninth holes, but recorded bogeys in the third and sixth for a total of 34.
In the back nine, he slotted birdies at the 12th, 14th, 15th holes with his only dropped shot coming at the 11th for a total of 33.
For his efforts, Mudanyi took home Sh100,000.
“I played a solid game. I had some very good tee shots and made some good birdies as well. I anticipated to play against a strong field and knew that I needed to play very well in order to finish in the top 15. I’m glad with how it ended up,” said Mudanyi.
“This is a great initiative and we thank those who brought it up. It is now upon us as players to honour this series and take it to the next level by participating in big numbers.”
Jastas Madoya, Erick Ooko, and amateur golfer Njoroge Kibugu tied in second place having carded 2-under par 69 each, earning themselves Sh50,000 apiece.
Madoya played a flawless first nine, holing a superb eagle-three at the fourth and a birdie at the ninth, for a total of 33.
On the back nine, Madoya recorded bogeys at the 11th and 16th before closing out with a birdie at the 18th, for a total of 36.
Ooko, of Golf Park, fired 36 in the first nine courtesy of birdies at the third, fourth, and fifth holes; and bogeys at the second, eighth and ninth.
In the back nine, he carded 33 with bogeys at the 12th and 16th holes and birdies at the 10th and 17th before he closed with an eagle-three at the 18th.
Speaking during the tournament, Taufiq Balala, who also sponsored the event, said the tournament is meant to provide the players with an opportunity to compete regularly as they seek to improve their performance in major championships.
“This is a development tour where Sh500,00 will be contested every week and we hope from there, it can grow into a bigger purse. The conversation has been there for a long time to see how we can develop golf in Kenya and a lot of focus has been on junior and amateur golf, which have attracted a lot of support, but the only thing that was missing was support for the pros,” said Balala.
“We needed to go to the next level by starting from somewhere. Instead of asking for support from the corporates, we decided to first help ourselves, with each player contributing Sh5,000 to the purse money for a total of Sh250,000. IMG Kenya matches the amount for a total of Sh500,000.”
IMG Kenya Director Charles Gacheru said this is the beginning of a series of events for the Pros.
“Our goal is to challenge the golf professionals to take charge of their destiny,” Gacheru said.