Top pros take the battle for Safari Tour title to Mombasa
Action in the Safari Tour golf series Season Four now moves to Nyali Golf and Country Club’s par 71 course in Mombasa for the fourth leg of the series on Sunday.
Coming hot on the heels of the third leg at the Great Rift Valley Golf Resort in Naivasha where Golf Park’s David Wakhu beat Samuel Njoroge of Kenya Railway Golf club by three shots, the fourth leg has attracted a field of 65 players.
The Mombasa event, which starts a two events series at the coast, has attracted seven more players than the Great Rift one.
The new faces who have joined the field at Nyali and who missed the third leg in Naivasha include Coast-based Fred Kamau, lady pro Bhavi Shah, John Kisia, and Promise Silla.
Others include Nigeria’s Sunday Olapade, Kevin Mabele from Kenya Air Force Golf Club, Sigona’s Sujan Shah, Zimbabwe’s Visitor Mapanywa, and Uganda’s Deo Akope, Ronald Rugumayo and Willy Kitata.
Of the Ugandans, Deo Akope and Rugumayo were in Naivasha though they were not able to play as they were late in registering last Friday.
Most of the players who did not make the cut at the Great Rift, left immediately for Mombasa to prepare for the fourth leg at Nyali whose course has always proved tough for the pros in addition to the current heat at the Coast.
Leading the campaign for the top cash prize of Sh230,000 plus some points towards the “Road to Magical 2022 Kenya Open’’ will be David Wakhu, who despite posting five over par 76 in the final round, he still managed to take the cash prize of Sh276,667 including some bonus money for his three rounds under par scores in Naivasha.
“I have played well at Nyali today, the course is in good condition though the wind is tricky and one has to be extremely careful on how you approach every hole," said Wakhu, who won the 2018 Nyali leg in the tour and also won last year's Diani Beach Masters at Leisure Lodge.
Wakhu said the Nyali greens are not as fast as they usually are, but were still rolling well though a bit tricky.
To take on Wakhu at Nyali besides Njoroge, and Muthaiga’s Greg Snow who finished third at Great Rift, will be home pro Mathew Wahome, Zimbabwe’s Tafara Mpofu and second leg winner Robson Chinhoi also from Zimbabwe, senior pro Dismas Indiza, Simon Ngige from Thika Sports Club, Malawi’s Paul Chidale and Nigeria’s Andrew Odoh.
Going for the amateur title will be junior golfer Taimur Malik, who during the first leg at Sigona produced an excellent performance, to beat Edwin Mudanyi and home pro Mohit Mediratta in a play off.
Malik did not however make the cut in Naivasha after a poor 79 in the second round, having started off well with a one over par 72 in the opening round.
Most of the pros had an opportunity of playing in the curtain-raiser (Pro-Am) and hence are more than ready to battle it out for this week and next weekend’s fifth leg at Leisure Lodge Beach and Golf Resort.