Over 100 golfers across the country braved the scorching Kisumu City overhead sun to tackle the grueling third leg of the Standard County Golf Classic Series at the par 70 Nyanza Golf Club on Saturday.
The course overlooking Lake Victoria was relatively tough due to the continuous rains that have been pounding the region.
The rains made the greens soggy and the fairways wet, forcing the players to expend more energy on their shots.
Even the club's resident pro David Odhiambo did not escape the rough ride.
The former Kenya Amateur Strokeplay champion ended the day on nine over par 79, a shocking score he has never recorded in his career that is spanning over two decades.
"It was my first time playing in the tournament. I can admit that the game was an uphill task. The greens were very challenging, they were not playing long," the former Burundi Open champion told Standard Sports after the game.
Even though he was not entitled to any prize even if he could have triumphed in the championships, Odhiambo was out to give moral support and offer his golf expertise to upcoming players who were embracing the sport during the tournament. Odhiambo's next focus will be to start preparations for next year's Magical Kenya Open where he is aiming to make the cut for the fifth time.
Odhiambo's sentiments concerning the course were echoed by Maureen Mundia of Kakamega Sports Club who carded 13 over par 83.
"I'm glad I scored a few pars here and there but the reality is that they are not enough to help me win any of the exciting prizes awaiting the champions this evening," Mundia said.
Apaka Rangita, a statistician lecturer at Maseno University, was out to improve his results recorded in the leg in 2019.
"I did not play well in this tournament three years ago, but today I'm targeting to be the champion. Even if I don't win I will be glad if I lower my current handicap which stands at 17," Rangita said.
Joan Mitei from Kisii Sports Club was all out to have fun and support the tournament theme ' On the green course, for the green cause' that was in line with environmental conservation.
Home player Tabitha Ojwang used the occasion to jump start her golfing career after being convinced by her husband and son who are ardent golf players.
Ahead of his midday tee-off, Standard Group PLC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Orlando Lyomu gave an assurance that he was well prepared for the challenging course.
" I have always been mentally prepared in the series. But whether that will translate into better results this evening is all another story," Lyomu said.
Lyomu, whose contingent was comprised of Nyanza Golf Club Vice Captain, Tom Odongo, Jambo Jet CEO Karanja Ndegwa and Kakamega Sports Club Vice Captain Salim Amusala, said Standard Group is in Kisumu to ensure their partners and customers have a good day out and to celebrate the winners of the circuit.
One of the competition partners, Space and Style, used the occasion to celebrate their 20 years of operation in Kenya.
The manufacturers of the innovative Asili roofing and water harvesting and distribution solutions also commissioned a new office at the Lake Basin Mall along the Kisumu Kakamega Road which was opened on Friday.
"We are here to support the championships at the same time celebrate our victories. We're also pleased to announce that Space and Style reached the finals of the All Africa Business Leaders Awards (AABLA awards) held in South Africa on Friday night where we were represented by our Managing Director, Winnie Ngumi,” Space and Style Marketing, Branding and Communications Manager, Terry Kyee said.
"Ngumi was nominated for the AABLA awards as a finalist in the category .Business Woman of the Year.
"Her contribution to the construction industry, for the past 20 years, as a manufacturer, in terms of offering innovative building solutions, capacity building, and policy intervention, is outstanding!."
Other partners who were on board in the championships were local carrier Jambojet, FMD East Africa which is a distributor of farm machinery and the Mediheal Group of Hospitals.
Standard County Golf Classic Series Nyanza Golf Club selected tentative results, not in any order.
-Sam Onyango 86
_ David Odhiambo 79
-Maureen Mundia 83