By: LARRY NGALA
Kenya is gearing up for battle at this year’s East Africa Challenge Golf Championship set for this weekend in Kigali.
The tournament, which will feature five countries, follows the Rwanda Open which was held last weekend.
Kenya’s team of 10 consisting of nine senior players and one junior left on Tuesday night for Kigali after a practising for two weeks under national coach Brian Njoroge at Vet Lab and Muthaiga Golf clubs. Kenya, which lost the Challenge Cup to Uganda last November, will be out to re-capture the trophy.
Since the Challenge Cup started in 1999, Kenya, has won the cup 11 times. Kenya Golf Union chairman Anthony Muhoro who is leading the Kenyan delegation to Rwanda said the team is capable of reclaiming the trophy. Save for Vet Lab’s Edwin Mudanyi and Limuru’s Paul Muchangi and Kenya Amateur Strokeplay champion John Kariuki, the rest of the squad is experienced.
On Wednesday, Kenya joined hosts Rwanda, champions Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia for the official practice round which was to be followed by the flag raising ceremony later. The first round of the singles event will be played this morning, followed by the foursomes Friday morning and the third round four ball better ball in the afternoon.
The closing final round singles is set for Saturday morning, followed by the prize-giving ceremony in the evening. Visiting teams will leave on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Kenya’s Dismas Indiza shot 74, 72, 68 and 77 to claim the title ahead of local pros Jean Baptiste (72, 74, 73 and 77) and Emmanuel Ruterana (74, 68, 74 and 80) at the Rwanda Open pro event which attracted 10 players.
Indiza is now preparing for Eng. Simon and Agnes Mbugua Foundation tournament at Nanyuki Sports Club this weekend. Speaking in Mombasa at the weekend, event sponsor Jimmy Mbugua said the tourney, which was postponed in August, will start with the first round of the pros on Friday.
They will be joined by the amateurs drawn from among other places the Mount Kenya region, Mombasa and Thika. An array of prizes awaits the amateurs while a Sh600,000 purse will be at stake for the pros, among them last year’s winner Kopan Timbe of Nyali. At least 30 pros will be in action at the event.
SOURCE: DAILY NATION