Nakuru golfer wins Salmer Pro-Am event at Railway Club
GOLF By - | November 19th 2012
By Erick Ochieng’
Nakuru golfer Richard Ainley maintained his second round lead to emerge the overall winner of the 54-hole Salmer Pro Am event held at the par 70, nine-hole Railway Golf Club.
The left-handed golfer ended the event on seven under par 203 (70, 66, 67), one of the best scores witnessed on the course this year, as he beat his closest opponent by seven shots to pocket Sh700,000 winner’s prize courtesy of the tournament sponsors Salmer Fitness Centre.
On the final day, Ainley played three under par 67 to seal his victory. He picked two back-to-back birdies on the par four hole eight and par five hole nine for a first nine score of 33.
In the second nine, he had mixed fortunes, picking a birdie on the par four 14th hole, had a bogey on the par three hole 15 before picking another birdie on the par three hole 17 for a back nine score of 34.
Home professional Njuguna Ngugi finished second on level par 210 (73, 68, 69). In the final round, Ngugi, who was enjoying a home ground advantage, started with a birdie on the par five first hole, picked another shot on the par four third hole, before playing a bogey on the par three fourth hole, but recovered with another birdie on the par four fifth hole.
dropped two shots
He dropped two shots on the par three sixth hole and par four eighth hole, before recovering with a birdie on the par five ninth for a first nine score of 35.
In the second nine, Ngugi who turned professional last year, started brightly with a birdie on the par five 10th hole and added another birdie on the par four 14th hole, but dropped a shot on the next par three 15th hole, recovered with a birdie on the par five 16th hole, played a bogey on the par three 17th and finished with a birdie on the par five hole 18 for a back nine score of 34.
“I can admit that the knowledge of the course acted slightly to my advantage. My putting was great and I’m happy to be picking up very well towards the end of the year and towards the Kenya Open,” said Ngugi who pocketed Sh375,000 for the feat.
First round’s early pace setter Dismas Indiza of Mumias Club finished third on two over par 212 (69, 73, 70) and in the process went home with Sh300,000. Nelson Mudanyi of Windsor was fourth on three over par 213 (69, 74, 70).
A total of 15 amateur players also took part in the tournament where Vet Lab’s Mathew Omondi emerged the best on 210 gross to take home a 32 inch plasma television. Nelson Simwa, also of Vet Lab, was second on 216 gross, while last year’s golfer of the year J W Karanja beat Golf Park’s David Opati on countback to settle for the third position on 222 gross.
This was one of the most lucrative professional tournaments in the history of the sport locally as all the top 20 players shared the prize money of Sh2.3 million.
There was also a participation fee of Sh10,000 apart from the prize money, for all the 36 professionals who turned up for the tournament.
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