Kenya to defend East Africa Golf Challenge title
GOLF By By Jonah Onyango and Ernest Ndunda | October 31st 2012
By Jonah Onyango and Ernest Ndunda
Golf Park’s David Opati will captain the national golf team to this year’s East Africa Challenge Trophy at the Bujumbura Golf Club between November 7 and 9 in Burundi.
Kenya Golf Union (KGU) chairman Alfred Kariuki unveiled the team yesterday when they also received the national flag from Sports Minister Ababu Namwamba at the Ministry of Sports offices.
The team comprises Opati, Vet Lab’s duo of Nelson Simwa and Mathew Omondi, Railway’s John Wangai, Sigona’s Kush Mediratta and Nyali’s Daniel Nduva, Mathew Wahome, Adel Balala and Abraham Abdullahi.
“The team is the best and we are confident they will successfully defend the title in Burundi. We tried to mix the team to have junior players integrate with the senior ones as we plan to recruit more juniors to the national team gradually to replace the likes of Opati in future,” said Kariuki.
The team won the title last year in Arusha and will be seeking to retain it when they take the course in Bujumbura. The squad, to be coached by Charles Farrar, is expected to leave the country next Monday, have a practice session on the same day and Tuesday before going into action on Wednesday. The format at the tournament will be matchplay.
As he handed the national flag to the national team Monday, Sports Minister Ababu Namwamba said: “I hope you are going to be our good ambassadors in Burundi.”
Namwamba, however, challenged KGU and other stakeholders to develop the sport at the grassroot levels.
“The KGU should work hard to develop the game and help Kenya qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil,” he said.
Mixed pot bogeys
Meanwhile, former Nyali Golf and Country Club Lady Captain Christine Ockotch posted a sterling 39 points to win the 2012 Total Kenya Golf tournament title at Nyali, at the weekend.
Playing off handicap 16, Ockotch had posted four level pars on the par four-second, the par three-third, the par three-sixth and the par four-eighth holes with mixed pot bogeys to bring 20 points in the outward nines.
She returned posting only a level par on the par four –16th hole and gained four more points for the birdie with mixed bogeys on the rest to add 19 points from the front nines and emerge the overall winner of the day.
“Winning this event is today my greatest moment in golf. I have been playing serious golf but today’s results has lifted up my spirits,’ said Ockotch.
Total Kenya limited sponsored the one day stableford tournament that attracted 150 golfers from the home club, Mombasa, Leisure, Malindi and guests and staffs of the sponsors with valid handicaps.
Handicap 13 Martin Wahome was the runner up on a count back score of 38 points after tying on the same points with handicap 13 Thusara De Silva who was placed third while the fourth slot was taken by handicap 16 Johnstone Wamunyua.
Alice Wahome, playing off handicap 19, was the lady winner on 34 points and handicap 16 Florence Karimi was the runners on a score of 33 points.
Said Hamada, playing off handicap six, was the best junior on 37 points, while his younger brother Suhel Hamada, playing off handicap 17, was second on a score of 36 points.
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