Nzioka narrowly survives to win first day of Ladies Coast Open Championship

Malindi Golf Club’s Lady Captain Hamida Chidagaya swings at Diamond Leisure Course. [Maarufu Mohamed, Standard]

Mwongeli Nzioka narrowly survived Tanzanians Lady golfers to emerge the Overall division A winner in day one of ongoing Ladies Coast Open Championship played at the Diani’s 18 holes par 72 Diamond Leisure Beach and Golf Resort course in South Coast of Mombasa, Kwale County on Monday.

Playing off handicap 11, Limuru based golfer carded a six over par 78 gross to claim the title in the day long 18 holes tournament.

Nzioka’s victory came  after carding 37 and 41  gross in both nines to lead the event  being  currently played  by  over 150 Lady golfers from across the Country’s golf Clubs and beyond including  Ugandans and  Tanzanians.

“Today’s win came as a surprise to me since I was not expecting but yes I played good golf and it was my best ever GOTY gross in a  National Championship registered,though I still hold some several local wins. The course was challenging but in good shape and I hope to play better in the next rounds,”said Nzioka.

Hot on her pursuit were the Tanzanians Lady Golfers Neema Olomi from Arusha Gymkhana Club and Vicky Elias from Lugalo Club who missed the overall lead by a single stroke

Handicap 2 Olomi was the gross runners up on account back score of seven over par 79 gross after tying on the same score with her Country mate handicap 4 Vicky Elias who was third and VetLab’s Mercy Nyamchama playing off handicap 2 as fourth on 81 gross.

The Division A  Nett winner  was Benta Khanili  of Golf Park  who posted 73 nett  to emerge  the nett winner while Carol Mokaya was  the runners up on 74 nett  and Mary Wainaina carded a count back score of 75  nett  for third slot  after tying  on the same score with  fourth  placed Loveness Frank from Tanzania.

The gross B division winner  95 gross  was handicap 22 Dr.Beatrice Shikuku from Kakamega Golf Club, two strokes ahead of second placed handicap 27 Linda Munyao from Nakuru Golf Club while Nyali’s Joyce Kamau on 98 gross and Kenya Railways handicap 24 Virginia Munyao were third and fourth respectively.

Mwongeli Nzioka (left) admires her Trophy after receiving from the KLGU Chairlady Lydia Otieno. [Maarufu Mohamed, Standard].

Nyali’s Lynett Oketch  was the best nett  winner on 69 nett while Mombasa Golf Club’s Grace Kwamboka  posted a count back score of 76 nett  to  claim the runners up slot after returning the same score with  Kenya Railway’s Lydia Obonyo  who was  third and taking the fourth slot  on 79 nett was Nyali’s Pauline Gichara.

Unfortunately one of the youthful Coast Lady Veterans Jaqueline Walter Akoth from Vipingo Baobab Ridge Golf Club was rushed to a nearby hospital when she developed a back and shoulder injuries after managing only eight holes.

The Club’s Lady Captain Cheryl Bush thanked the players and sponsors for making the event successful and promised that next year it will be bigger.

The week long Ladies Coast Open tourney that is being played throughout all the Coast Golf Club courses is organized under the umbrella of the Kenya Ladies Golf Union (KLGU) together with the KLGU Coast representative Teresia Odoo.

The second led on Tuesday moved to the Mombasa Golf Club while Nyali Golf and Country Club in Mombasa County will be the host Tomorrow on Wednesday where they will have a busy day playing 36 holes.

They will rest on Thursday , then move  to  Malindi Golf Club  on Friday and finalize at Vipingo Golf Ridge in Kilifi County on Saturday, 5th, August.

Mombasa Golf Cub Lady Captain Fiona Mbandi who was the second host welcomed the ladies and assured them of an excellent course and much fun during the day.

She pointed out that the major sponsorship from Tourism Fund, AAR Health care,DK Real Estates,Nu-Look,Sarova White sands,Plaza Beach,KCB, Kericho Gold, Atlas Tea Brokers and Friends of the Lady Captain.

Action resumes on Friday at Malindi Golf club on Friday with 18 holes before they finalize on Saturday.

Golf Park’s Benta Khanili in action at Diamond Leisure Course. [Maarufu Mohamed, Standard]

Meanwhile  Kiambu’s Michael Karanga of Kiambu continued with his winning trend after  trouncing VetLab’s Ebill Omollo  5 & 3 to be crowned the NCBA Bank sponsored 101st Kenya Amateur Match play Champion at the Great Rift Valley Golf Resort.

The win is the continuation of Karanga’s dominance in the Kenya Amateur Golf Championship series and places him at the top of the ranking with 1015 points.

Courtesy of the win, he received Kshs 120,000 as the prize money and got a ticket to the 2024 Magical Kenya Open (MKO).

Ebill Omollo of VetLab Sports Club received Kshs 72,000 as the runner up while Josepha Rono finished third after Muthaiga Golf Club’s Taimur Malik gave him a walkover. 

Karanga thanked the members of Kiambu and Ndumberi for the support granted to him and promised to participate and win in more tournaments, including the upcoming Malindi Open and the Kenya Amateur Stroke play Championship in August.

Mwongeli Nzioka swings at Diamond Leisure Course. [Maarufu Mohamed, Standard]

Kenya Golf Union Chairman Philip Ochola congratulated Karanga on the win and urged him to prepare adequately for the MKO to be held in seven months’ time.

He further appreciated corporate sponsors including NCBA Bank, Betika, Windsor Motors, Betlion, Maridady Motors and Naivas & Kikwetu homes who have supported the tournaments and ensured the players get to play. 

“I encourage all corporates and people of good will to support our players not only in participating in the local events but also the international ones. I also appreciate the role that is played by the caddies. We are planning to engage the caddies towards having a structured approach to the management of their affairs and tournaments,” he said.

The KAGC Series takes a break this weekend and resumes on the August 11th for the second edition of the Malindi Open “Vasco Da Gama Cup” at Malindi Golf and Country Club.

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