Kenya Golf Union(KGU) Chairman Phillip Ochola (left) presents Ghana Open winner Michael Karanga (center) with a trophy during Heroes Golf Day to fete top players flanked by Captain Mike Nyangi (right) at Kiambu Golf Club, September 30, 2023. [Mose Sammy, Standard]

100-year-old Kiambu Golf Club feted and flattered its top amateurs during Heroes Golf Day played on Friday.

Among those honored were Michael Karanga who was part of Kenyan team which participated in Africa Region IV, alongside, Elvis Muigua, John Lejirma and Dennis Maara which claimed the championship in style.

Later Karanga participated in Western Amateur Championship held in South Africa where he finished eighth overall.

Early last month, he was back in action at Egyptian Amateur Open 2023 where he finished sixth overall 6th.  

Karanga has been on a winning streak both locally and internationally and is ranked 85th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) in addition to winning both the Kenya Amateur Match Play Championship and Kenya Amateur Stroke Play Championship.

By winning 11 out of 17 Kenya Amateur Golf Championship (KAGC) events in the 2023 season, Katanga equaled professional golfers Kopan Timbe’s 11 triumphs as an amateur in Golfer of the Year (Goty) series, the precursor of KAGC.

The eleven wins were made up of Kenya Amateur Stroke Play Championship, Malindi Open, Coast Open-Barry Cup, Limuru Open, Coronation Trophy, Railway Invitational, Muthaiga Open, Windsor Classic, Sigona Bown and Muthaiga Open.

The late Pro John Mucheru was the only other Kenyan to have held both Kenya Matchplay as well as Kenya Stroke Play Championships before Karanga achieved the same feat years later.

He has also shattered Pro Ben Okello’s Mombasa Golf Club, 45-year-old coursework record registered by Senior Okello in 1978.

Karanga bettered Okello’s record by 2 strokes during this years’ Coast Open where he played 7-under to claim the tournament.

It’s a matter of time before Kenya Golf Union (KGU) crowns him as Kenya Amateur Golf Champion (KAGC) 2023. Which guarantees him an automatic slot at 2024 MKO.

After winning Kabete Open at Vetlabs layout, Karanga jetted out to Ghana where he won Ghana Open Ghana 2023 last week, his first international trophy.

“I’m a man on a mission to break records and with a vision to be the best on the Kenyan golfing landscape. So far, I’m happy with the mission and looking forward to actualizing my vision before next year's MKO.” an upbeat Karanga said.

At the moment, he is in the process of setting up Karanga Foundation which offers golf lessons to 60 underprivileged children during schools' holidays. 

Most of the kids expected to benefit from this noble venture are from around Kiambu County and it will be his way of giving back to the community which has offered him the opportunity to shine.  

Ghana Open winner Michael Kanga (left) Trans Nzoia Open winner Elvis Muigua (center) and Patrons Cup Matchplay winner Joyce Wanjiru (right) during Heroes Golf Day to fete them at Kiambu Golf Club, September 30, 2023. [Mose Sammy, Standard]

Joyce Wanjiru on the other hand was very instrumental in the just concluded Patrons Cup at Muthaiga Golf Club for her home team, Kiambu Golf Club in lift ing the bowls trophy. 

She went on to win her individual match play duel at the meet. 

Wanjiru skippered Kenya Ladies Golf Union (KLGU) seven-member strong team to Zimbabwe for Gilberson and Paige Trophy at Chapman Golf Club course.

New kid on the block 20-year-old, Muigua has won both Kakamega Golf Fields and Trans Nzoia Open Championship in his maiden season with lots of promise and potential.

He also won Junior Stroke Championship recently at Sigona Golf Club.

Other notable players who were recognized at the prize giving ceremony were, the late Pro Nginyo Kariuki, veteran Pro Michael Karanga (Karanga’s maternal grandfather), George Maara, Paul Rwambo, Michael Ngene and Steve Kiaro among others.

The tournament at the nine-hole layout was presented by; Destination Code -254 (Nyeri), KenMeat Limited, Pana Products, Woodcreek School, Superior Hotels Kenya, Tononoka Group, Kings Collection and Omega Optician.

And it was meant to honor the club's golfers who've performed well and others who've contributed immensely towards the growth of the game of golf at the club level and beyond.

Chief guest and also KGU Chairman, Phillip Ochola congratulated the trio for their exemplary performances and achievement on and off the course.

“I’m thrilled to be part of this celebrations to acknowledge and honor top tier players from among the membership of Kiambu Golf Club who have been great ambassadors to the world from Kenya. They’ve set the bar high with their accomplishments within and outside our borders.” Ochola said.

Muigua who is ranked fourth on the current KAGC standings is keen on sustaining his winning form and position nationally to assure himself of earning a slot at 2024 Magical Kenya Open 2024 and hopefully secure a scholarship to sturdy Finance in Banking in United States of America next year.

“All I want now is to maintain or better my position on KAGC rankings if I have to achieve my dream of playing in next year’s MKO and that I will strive to get.” Muigua said. 

Heroes Golf Day winners

Men winner – BS Shah H/c 22 44 pts

Men second – Richard Ngui H/c 23 40 pts

Men third – GW Kuria H/c 14 39 pts

Gross winner – Evans Ngene 80 Gross

Lady winner – Brenda Kihara H/c 30 44 pts

Guest winner – Solomon Maina H/c 21 41 pts

Sponsor winner – Anne Ngumba H/c 21 37 pts

Sponsor friends winner – Tim Kihara H/c 10 33 pts

Subsidiary Men winner – Alvin Gakere H/c 31 31 pts

Subsidiary lady winner – Jackie Muthoni H/c 33 40 pts

First Nine winner – James Kariuki H/c 15 22 pts\

Second Nine winner – JK Muchai H/c 18 21 pts

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