Kericho hosts 52nd edition of Tea Fields Trophy

Tej Bachu practices at Kericho Golf Club ahead of the Tea Fields Trophy tournament which begins on Friday. [Mose Sammy, Standard]

A draw of 78 golfers with a handicap limit of 18.0 has been finalized for Tea Fields Trophy 2023 which tees up on Friday until Sunday at the lush green Kericho Golf Club layout.

The 9-hole course is playing short due to heavy thunderstorms that have been pounding the region lately.

Out of the 78, six Ugandans are seeking a share of the prize fund of Sh400, 000, courtesy of Kenya Amateur Golf Championship (KAGC) title sponsor NCBA Bank and Johnnie Walker.

The six are; Godfrey Nsubuga (Uganda Golf Club), Joseph Cwinyaai (Uganda Golf Club), Titus Okwong (Uganda Golf Club), Joseph Kasozi (Kinyara Golf Club).

Others are, Ibrahim Bagalana also from Uganda Golf Club and Michael Tumusime (Entebbe Golf Club) will be out to wrestle the trophy from the local brigade.

Notable local players are being led by John Lerjirma (Kenya Railway Golf Club), Dennis "The Menace" Maara (Limuru Golf and Country Club), Ebill Omolo (VetLab Sports Club) among other top-seeded golfers.

While the home title hunt will be fronted by handicap 1, Tej Bachu, currently the lowest player in Kericho Club as well as Victor Maiyo playing off handicap 2, Leonard Koech playing off handicap 6, seasoned golfer Wilfred Oroko playing off handicap 5 and David Biegon playing off handicap 7.

Godfrey Nsubuga of Uganda Golf Club follows his tee during the Hippo Pot at Nyanza Golf Club.[Washington Onyango,Standard]

As they vie for the bragging rights in the absence of their erstwhile rival, Michael Karanga, winner of Ghana Open 2023 a fortnight ago, who will be honored during the "Homecoming of Champions" at his home club Kiambu Golf Club this weekend.

Karanga who has been exhibiting top form in the recent past has dominated the KAGC series and gone ahead to equal Professional golfer Kopan Timbe's record of 11 wins during Golfer of the Years (Goty) series which morphed into KAGC.

"We are promising the golfers a memorable experience on our course for this edition which is better than the previous ones in every aspect. May the best shine." Ignatius Ngetich, Captain Kericho Club said.

John Lerjirma of Kenya Railway Golf Club follows his tee during the Hippo Pot at Nyanza Golf Club.[Washington Onyango,Standard]

The course is playing long due to the wet conditions with fast paced but holding greens.

The roughs are thick but quite forgiving for those who will veer off the fairways.

Challenging holes are the par-four second which is lined with trees on either side of the fairway and the toughest as well being the courses stroke index one.

Followed by hole number five, a downhill par-three which has a protective bunker past the green.

Similarly, hole number six is set to portend a stiff challenge for the field with its out of bounds to the left of the green.

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