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All roads lead to Vipingo Baobab course for the 45th Kenya Amateur Strokes Play Championship

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[South African based Kenyan Amateur Zayan Din of Nyali.Photo/Pwani Images]

Home Clubs Adel Balala is expected to defend his title in the 45th Kenya Amateur Strokes Play Golf Championship that tees off on Thursday 20th, October 2022 at the PGA-rated par 72 Vipingo Baobab Ridge Golf Course in Kilifi County.

After winning this last event at Nakuru on a seven under par, Balala who is also a member of the Nyali Golf and Country Club will be battling against 76 Elite Golf Amateurs drawn across the Country’s Golf Clubs, Uganda and Tanzania in the four days tourney that ends on Sunday,23rd, October.

[Kenya Amateur Strokes Play Defending Champion Adel Balala.Photo/Pwani Images]
The Amateurs have been drawn from 18 golf clubs in Kilifi, Nairobi, Kiambu, Mombasa, Uasin-Gishu, Nandi, Nakuru, and Machakos Counties and other players from Uganda Golf Club, Dar Es Salaam Gymkhana and Jaeren Golf Club in Norway.

The tournament is organized by Kenya Golf Union (KGU) and is the 45th edition of the Kenya Amateur Stroke play Championship “Kenyatta Memorial Bowl” being played on Mashujaa Day.

It’s being held in memory of Kenya’s First President, The Late Jomo Kenyatta where the trophy was first presented in 1978 by KGU’s first African Chairman Chris Kahara-1978/79 and Col. M.J. Harbage, a KGU Chairman 1977/78.

Sponsors are the Kenya Golf Union, Vipingo Ridge Golf Resort, Kilifi Mall, CIC Group, Naivas, Betika.com, Pharma Plus, The Shoe Shine Guys, and the County Government of Kilifi.

The players will be contesting for Kenya Amateur Golf Championship points, World Amateur Golf Ranking points and the overall prize.

This event will be the second after the recent Malindi Open “Vasco Da Gama Cup” that were both included for the first time in the 2022 Kenya Golf Union Calendar of events.

Hundreds of Coastal Golf fans will be around the 18-hole championship course set high on the ridge with dramatic coastal views especially of the Indian Ocean, following the Mombasa Team where Nyali Golf and Country Club has a large number of entries.

The list includes among others Omar Lewa, Solomon Majanga, Karan Inamdar, Fahmy Hamid, Kalamu Hassan Choyo, Dickson Barassa, William Onyango Odeck, and John Timbe.

All eyes will also be on Odeck who last month missed the overall lead by a single stroke to Ugandan Michael Alunga at the 2022 Nyanza Open in Kisumu.

Odeck alongside colleagues Timbe, Choyo and Barassa are all in good form and has been undergoing golf mental lessons with support from a German-based Sports Coaching Agency “Lotus global” as well as the non-profit organization “Universal Lighthouse” through its Chief Executive Officers cum International Mental Coach Bernard Payet and Diploma Sports Scientist Coach Thomas Mooser.

“We as Team Nyali are ready and We are assuring our Club, Supporters and fans that We are up to the task, well prepared physically and mentally and will bring the trophy home, “Said Odeck.

Unfortunately missing from the squad is South African-based Nyali Amateur Zayan Din who last weekend was among the Nyali team that won the Patron’s plaque at Muthaiga. Din is said to have flown back to Johannesburg to resume his studies.

Other players to watch include the current leading amateur Jay Sandhu of Muthaiga Golf Club and the Kenya Amateur Matchplay Champion and National team Captain Dennis Maara of Limuru Country Club.

Golf Park has also sent a large team that comprises among others Sammy Mulama, Josphat Rono, Peter Macharia, Emanuel Wekesa, Dennis Jacobsen, Victor Chesumei, and Martin Muritu.

Among others are Muthaiga’s Daniel Kiragu, Lab’s Isaac Makokha, Uganda’s Michael Alunga, Tanzania’s Nicholas Zervos and Sigmund Halland from Norway’s Jaeren Golf Club.

Vipingo Club’s Captain Richard Frost said all preparation was in top gear, ready for the tournament and that the course is playing well and in good condition.

“We assure all the Golfers and fans they will enjoy their time at Vipingo and return back home with good memories,” said Frost.

The Tournament Director Philip Ochola, mentioned that the plans for the event are all set and that there will be a subsidiary tournament on Saturday, 22nd October 2022 which is open to golfers across the country, including Men, ladies and juniors.

Kenya Golf Union Chairman Njani Ndiritu announced the introduction of cash prizes for the event in line with the revised regulations by the R&A which allow Amateur golfers to win cash prizes to a maximum limit of Kshs 115,000.

He said the winner of the event gets an automatic entry to the 2023 Magical Kenya Open subject to meeting the DP World Tour requirements.

45TH KENYA AMATEUR STROKEPLAY CHAMPIONSHIP DRAW;
Thursday, 20th, October 2022;

First Tee PM;
11:30;Francis Mwaniki ,Daniel Kiragu,Danny Chelogoi;11:40;Josphat Rono,James Kamenchu,Joseph Sulubu;11:50;Robin Boyd-Moss, Hillary Imbukwa,Sigmund Haland;12:00;Mikael Kihara,Ben Murimi,Peter Macharia;12:10;Adel Balala,Nicholas Zervos,Edwin Kiarie;12:20;Chrisphine Owuor,Hill Kip, Aloise Ogola;12:30;Ronald Simiyu,Moses Tanui,Emmanuel Wekesa;12:40;Jabez Ojowa,Omar Lewa,Ali Khimji;12:50;Gulraaj Sehmi,Fahmy Hamid,Kisochi Mwanyange;13:00;Aziz Mussaji,Waweru Karanja,Karan Inamdar;13:10;Mathew Koech,Robert Odero,Simon Karari;13:20;George Mburu,Bhavnish Chandaria,Raphael Leming’ani;13:30;Dennis Jakobsen,Kalamu Choyo,Stephen Orinda;

Tenth Tee PM;
11:30; Amos Odongo, Eric Kiruja, Dennis Maara;11:40; Sammy Mulama, Solomon Majanga, Carl Wambasi;11:50; Dickson Barasa, Frank Njuguna, Otieno Ochieng;12:00; Joshua Maina, Jay Sandhu, Rufas Gichuki;12:10; Eric Muriithi, Alessio Bozzolasco, Isaac Makokha;12:20; Korby Gatiramu, Victor Chesumei, Steven Arundel;12:30; Kevin Juma, Henry Kamau, Rajiv Shah;12:40; Otieno Omollo, Kevin Kogo, John Mramba;12:50; Benard Omondi, Onyango Odeck, Edgar Brian;13:00; John Timbe, Anthony Gichuki, Martin Muritu;13:10; John Lejirma, Alunga Michael, John Kinuthia;13:20; Joseph Gathumbi, Kigen Koitaba, XN Iraki;