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Zimbabwean Robson Chinhoi wins sixth leg of Safari Tour Series

Zimbabwe’s Robson Chinhoi beat Kenya’s Erick Ooko by four shots to claim the sixth leg of the 2021/2022 Safari Tour series at the par 72 Limuru Country Club in Nairobi on Wednesday.

Starting the day in third place behind the third round leaders Justus Madoya and Ooko, Chinhoi produced  a round of two under par 70 despite having bogeyed two holes in the final round, a score which saw him clinch the title with an aggregate of two under par 286.

“This is not the kind of sores I had anticipated, but all the same, I am happy to have emerged the winner against very good players Madoya and Ooko’’ said Chinhoi who had bogeyed the second hole and at the 15thin the back nine, with birdies coming on the third, seventh, 12th and 18th holes.

“I am looking forward to the remaining two events at Karen and Muthaiga where I hope to return better scores as we gear towards the Magical Kenya Open’’ added Chinhoi who leads the regional players in the “Road to Magical Kenya open’’ with a total of 104 points. 

Besides the trophy, Chinhoi picked up a KES319,091 cheque, as Ooko who had an awful back nine, finished second with two over par 290 after posting four over par 76 in the final round.

Ooko blamed his take off from the tee particularly at the back nine where he dropped four shots, with only one birdie on his card. 

“I was really looking forward to winning this event having led in three rounds, but my tee shots let me down today and in particular at the back nine where I was either pulling to the left or hitting to the right. This made it difficult for me to hit enough greens on regulation,’’ said Ooko who took home KES176,364.

“I know I have qualified for the Kenya Open, but I would like to win the remaining events because that will give me the confidence I need as we approach the event,’’ added the Golf Park based Ooko. 

It was equally a bad day for Great Rift Valley Golf Resort based Madoya who picked a bogey after a bogey during the day with a double at the ninth completely ruining his chances of clinching a back to back victory, having won the Uganda Open last month at Entebbe Golf Club.

He finally had to settle in fourth place on five over par 293 after closing with 79, and a shot worse than third placed Samuel Njoroge who shot 75 for 292. Junior amateur golfer Njoroge Kibugu tied for eighth place with senior pro Dismas Indiza on eight over par 296. He shot two over 74 in the final round, the same as Indiza. 

“I am very happy making the cut for a start though my second round was not very good, but I am working on my game to make sure that I am ready for the Open’’ said Kibugu who is travelling to Cape Town South Africa to play a couple of events and also try and correct some few problems in his game before he returns for the Open.

Dismas Indiza leading by six shots at Vet Lab

Mumias-based Dismas Indiza remained at the top of the leaderboard after a perfect round of four under 68 in the second round of the 2020 Safari Tour series third leg at the par 72 Vet Lab Sports Club course in Nairobi on Monday.

Indiza, who missed the cut in the first leg at Limuru two weeks ago, said he was hitting the ball well from the tees and putted well though the pins were not very friendly but unlike in the first round.

My only bad hole was the par four-10th where I hit the right trees, tried to come out, but went even further right, and though I finally came onto the green on four, made two putts, to double bogey the hole’’ said Indiza who had birdied the first and sixth, picked up an eagle at the seventh, then birdied the 12th and 14th at the back nine, to top the leaderboard.

Its now game on in the last two rounds where I intend to try and stay up by making some more birdies if possible,’’ added Indiza who was six clear shots from hot charging Robson Chinhoi of Zimbabwe who shot one under par 71 for a level par 144 going into Tuesday’s third round.Sa

Second leg winner Chinhoi, birdied the sixth and seventh, made a bogey at the ninth, started the back nine well, firing in a birdie at the down-hilly 10th, but dropped two shots at the 12th with one recovery at the 13th for the day’s 71 that put him in second place just a shot better than Greg Snow who posted two under par 70 for one over 145.

Muthaiga’s Greg Snow, a winner of the first leg at Limuru last week, made a slow start, dropping a shot at the first hole though he quickly recovered it at the second hole. He later birdied the seventh, and the 14th and 15th at the back nine where he however started with a bogey at the 10th.

But what a day it was for the home pro Nelson Simwa who was leading on six under par after 11 holes, after making birdies on fifth, seventh, ninth and 10th holes. His problems started at the 11th where he missed a close one for a par, then dropped one more shot at the 13th.

It was, however, at the 14th hole where he threw away everything after blocking his shot to out of bound, for a quick eight. He never recovered after that as he bogeyed the 15th, 17th and 18th for four over par 76, to drop to fourth place on two over par total of 146.

“I was firing until I picked that eight at the 14th, and my mind just went off. I could not concentrate anymore, which made me drop three more shots thereafter. But I will try and play eight or so under in the remaining two rounds. I am still capable of winning the tournament if I don’t encounter another bad hole tomorrow,’’ said Simwa who is sponsored by the betting company Betika.

A total of 20 players made the seven over par cut and will now battle it out for the top cash prize of Sh105,000. It was tough for others like Golf Park’s Eric Ooko who missed the cut by just a shot despite shooting level par 72 in the second round.

The leaderboard

Dismas Indiza 70, 68 = 138

Robson Chinhoi (Zim) 73, 71 = 144

Greg Snow 75, 70 = 145

Nelson Simwa 70, 76 = 146

Samuel Njoroge 73, 74 = 147

Mathew Wahome 77, 71 = 148

Isaiah Omwoyo Otuke 75, 73 = 148

Paul Chidale(Maw) 73, 75 = 148

John Wangai 72, 76 = 148