Kigen reigns supreme at Nandi Bears Club

ICEA King of the Course fifth series overall winner Daniel Kigen displays his trophy at Nandi Bear Club on Saturday. [Mose Sammy, Standard]

David Kigen hit the jackpot to convincingly win the ICEALION King of the Course Nandi Bears Club leg over the weekend.

Spurred on by a bet among his peers for any birdie inked, the handicap 38 went on an unsuccessful birdie hunt sinking a paltry two pars from his round of 18.

However, he picked several bogeys and double-bogeys thanks to his double and triple stroking to garner a bountiful harvest of 47 stableford points.

The Kericho Club golfer was over the moon after beating a record field of 138 golfers at the hilly nine-hole course.

Drawn from hosts Nandi Bears Club, Machakos Sports Club, Ruiru Sports Club, Thika Sports Club and Nanyuki, the seven series qualifier has been sponsored by financial solutions provider ICEA LION GROUP since 2007.  And has gained traction due to the  in numbers with every passing year.

The Nandi Bears Club leg was preceded by a curtain raiser matchplay event at Eldoret Sports Club.

The series moves to Nyali Golf and Country Club for a qualifier tournament before a grand finale at a yet to be announced venue.

The grand finale will feature five top performers from each tournament.

On his win, Kigen said: "I had a bet with some guys that for each birdie one scored, you'd earn some good money. I went hunting for the elusive birdies.

"Thanks to my handicap, my two pars are like birdies and got me a lot of points, and the bogeys were equally good towards the winning score."

ICEALION Group CEO Philip Lopokoyit said: "As ICEALION, being the largest insurer of tea estates, we are using this opportunity to meet our clients within the regions.

"As we promote the sport, we are discussing with them our business model to meet their needs and forge a beneficial partnership into the future."

Chief guest, Nandi Governor Stephen Sang, who was represented at the prize giving dinner by his deputy Yulita Cheruiyot lauded ICEALION Group for promoting sports tourism through golf.

"This series is an excellent way of promoting golf tourism within the region. We pride ourselves as the source of champions and would like to explore the game of golf or even have a golf festival to tap into the immense talent that exists in our midst," said Yulita Cheruiyot.

Member winner prize went to Shellagh Ballard with 40 stableford points ahead of Edwin Serem.

Topping the guest players' category was Mark Makau (men) of Machakos Sports Club and Grace Naserian (ladies) on identical scores of 37 stableford points each.

Lady Captain Gorrety Mutai starred in the ladies section on a score of 34 stableford points.

Staff winner prize went to Sarah Tuwei with a score of 36 stableford points while Dennis Kipruto took home Junior winner prize.

Elly Barno with 19 stableford points was the First nine winner as Michael Kotu picked Second nine prize on a similar score of 19 stableford points.

Club Captain Kimeli Mutai blasted his teeshot shot 47 yards to the green to claim the Longest winner men prize as Natalie Metto winning in the ladies category.

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