In a thrilling turn of events at the Nyanza Open Hippo Pot golf tournament, John Lejirma from Kenya Railway Golf Club has expressed his confidence in retaining the title, following a remarkable comeback to catch up with Ugandan golfer Godfrey Nsubuga, who had led the competition after day one.
Lejirma, a 32-year-old golfing sensation, attributed his newfound momentum to the exceptional conditions at the Nyanza Golf Club, particularly praising the immaculate state of the greens in comparison to the previous year.
The Nairobi-based golfer leads the Nyanza heading into the final day on Sunday with 8 over par (+8) alongside Nsubuga.
Nelson Koech (+10) from Nandi Bears is third followed by William Odek (+11) and Ebill Omollo (+11).
Lejirma's optimism was mirrored by the Nyanza Golf Club captain, Tom Odongo, who took a moment to express his gratitude towards the sponsors that had come forward to support the Kenya Amateur Golf Championships Series leg held in Kisumu.
“It was a tough Friday for me where I played 4 bogeys in a row then birdied 5th hole followed by a triple bogey on 7th to finish +5 1st nine then pars all through after 2nd nine then dropped a shot on 14th to close out with +7.
“Day two was quit decent play. I managed to play Pars all through till 8th hole where I bogeyed the par 3 to close the 1st nine with 1 over and going on my 2nd nine slightly hiccup the 1st two holes bogeyed 10th and 11th but recovered well from hole 13th,14th and 15th with birdies then again dropped a shot on hole 18th to close out with a level that side total of 1 over for the day,” Jirma said during an interview with Standard Sports.
Odongo extended his heartfelt appreciation to a host of sponsors, including NCBA Bank, Homeland Events, VIP Lounge, AAR Healthcare, Ogejo, Omboto and Kijala Advocates (OOK), KISALI, and the County Government of Kisumu for their generous support.
Among the sponsors, Africa Inuka Hospital was highlighted for their significant contribution to the event. Africa Inuka Hospital's CEO, Michael Adwera, shared his perspective on their involvement, emphasizing their commitment to nurturing young golfers and their eagerness to collaborate with the Kenya Golf Union (KGU) in future tournaments.
KGU Chairman Philip Ochola also weighed in on the proceedings, declaring the event a resounding success and setting the stage for an exciting climax on Sunday.
The tournament had clearly brought together golfers, sponsors, and enthusiasts with a shared passion for the sport, all united in their efforts to promote and develop golf in the region.
As the competition unfolded, it was evident that the Nyanza Open Hippo Pot had become a celebration of sportsmanship, talent, and community support, setting the stage for an unforgettable showdown on the final day.