Eleven-Year-Old junior golfer Mumbi Gatu carded an impressive round of 49 points to emerge the overall winner at the Limuru Country Club’s leg of the ongoing NCBA Golf Series.
The handicap 50 player becomes the second junior golfer to claim the overall winner’s spot in the Series after 12-year-old Nathan Mwangi who claimed the overall win at the Karen Country Club leg of the Series.
She becomes the Series’ 13th overall winner and books a slot, together with the other top four finishers at the Limuru event, to play at the grand finale which will be held in December in Karen.
She finished the round ten points clear of her nearest challenger, zero handicap Dennis Maara, who ended the day with 39 points to claim the winner’s slot in the Men’s category ahead of handicap 15 Ken Anunda who claimed the runner-up spot with 39 points.
Among the ladies, handicap 24 Grace Kimeria carded a round of 38 points to claim victory in the category ahead of handicap 31 Priscilla Waithaka who carded a round of 36 points to finish runner-up.
In the nines, handicap 19 Steve Okello was the winner in the first nine with 23 points, while Ng’ang’a Mathu claimed the win in the second nine with 20 points. Among the juniors, Asa Dinkins (handicap nine) was crowned the winner with 35 points, while Paul Jakaa (handicap 17) emerged staff winner with 30 points.
In other events, John Wambari emerged the overall nearest-to-the-pin winner, with James Kimani claiming victory in the Men’s category, while Wairimu Maina clinched the win in the ladies’ category.
Speaking at the event, NCBA Group Managing Director, John Gachora, said the Series seeks to encourage the participation of junior golfers in a bid to nurture their talent early and position them to be Kenya’s next golf stars.
“What we are doing is really much more important for golf development. What our mission, is as far as this sport is concerned, is to develop the future golfers so that Kenya can rank top as it should be. As we do in athletics, we believe we should do the same in golf and NCBA is leading that charge by encouraging juniors to participate.
“The winners of our junior tournament that was held in Karen last month will be going to join the US Kids tournament in Rome next month and in South Africa next year. So, as you can see, we are really driven to assist juniors to lurch onto this game,” he said.
He added: “If you look globally, golf has become one of the most lucrative and entertaining sports. Therefore, we believe a country like ours that is endowed with over 40 golf courses should do more to nurture this game early for our kids.”
The Limuru leg of the Series – which was the fourteenth event in the calendar – drew the participation of over 200 golfers, bringing to over 1,900 the players who have now taken part in the Series since inception in January. 65 golfers have qualified to play in the finale by virtue of being top five finishers across 13 of the 14 events played so far.
The Series now moves to the Kakamega Golf Club coming Saturday; an event that will coincide with the Bank’s branch opening in the Western Kenya town. The move to include Kakamega in the Series calendar follows the Bank’s expansion strategy that will see new branches being opened across various towns in Kenya.