A look at Kenya’s pros ahead of Magical Open

INDIZA STROKR - A look at Kenya’s pros ahead of Magical Open
Mumias based Dismas Indiza in action during the final round of the Karen leg of the Safari Tour. Photo/COURTESY

NAIROBI, Kenya, March 8 – Asked what makes the 12 man Magical Kenya Open home troops tick, Mumias long-hitter Dismas Indiza said: “It’s their willingness to die for the team. They are fully aware that it’s our duty as a group to make the country proud.”

Also playing competitive golf in the recently concluded Road To Kenya Open Safari Tour series which offered local pros some attractive prize money and a priceless feel of various courses including the Karen Country Club Par 71 facility which will host the four-day golfing extravaganza from March 14-17.

The greatest success of the Safari Tour is the attainment of the objective for which the Tour was set up for; which is to give our local pros an opportunity to practice and play a lot more golf to the standards of the European Tour. This has given them an opportunity to practice, learn and be resilient.

GREG SNOWWWWW - A look at Kenya’s pros ahead of Magical Open
Greg Snow had a fine Safari Tour.

Greg Snow will alongside his Mumias counterpart shoulder Kenya’s hopes of keeping the event’s maroon jacket on home soil.

No Kenyan has won the Kenya Open since inception in 1967 and Snow thinks the regular local tournaments they have played like the recently concluded Safari Tour series will come in handy.

“It’s been a great five months and like I said I have put in a lot of hard work. I believe Kenyans are better prepared than ever before and this is a clear indication that we could spring some surprises in as far as the tournament cut is concerned. I have had a good Safari Tour and the plan will be to go into the Kenya Open in similar spirit and fashion.”

The first nine Kenyan players, who qualified to play at this year’s Magical Kenya Open Golf Championship, were named following the conclusion of the 2018/2019 Safari Tour Golf series today at the Windsor Golf Hotel and Country Club. Two players tied for eighth spot – the Safari Tour Golf Series qualifying cut-off for the Kenya Open – pushing the number of players qualifying to nine.

Two more Kenyans qualified in the pre-qualifier at Karen.

KPG - A look at Kenya’s pros ahead of Magical Open
Kenya Proffesional golfers Charan Thethy and Jacob Okello watch Yusuf Omari-Najib Balala-Peter Kanyago and Kirimi Kaberia putt at Karen Country Club. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

They were Justus Madoya of the Great Rift Valley and Royal’s Eric Ooko who beat Jacob Okello in a three home playoff at Karen.

Okello, Kenya’s most decorated golfer who lost the memorable Kenya Open playoff in 1998, was later awarded a Kenya team by KOGL invitation.

Snow leads the team of 12 professional player having accrued a total of 113.5 points across the six Safari Tour golf series. Greg has been dominant, taking maximum points in four of the six Safari Tour events, to take top spot on the Road to Kenya Open ranking. He has featured at the Kenya Open 11 times with his best finish coming in 2014 when he finished 10th.

-Indiza-

The second qualifier is Indiza who amassed 111 points after a consistent performance across the Safari Tour to finish second. Indiza has featured at the Kenya Open 19 times; with his best finish being tenth in the 2008 edition.

-Charania-

Riz2 - A look at Kenya’s pros ahead of Magical Open
Riz Charania poses with the Safari Tour Golf Series trophy after emerging winner of the Windsor Golf Hotel and Country Club leg of the Safari Tour series

Windsor’s Rizwan Charania booked third spot on the Road to Kenya Open ranking having amassed a total of 79 points; with his win of the Windsor leg of the tour cementing third spot. He has played at the Kenya Open 14 times; his best finish coming in 2017.

-Wakhu-

WAKHU TEE - A look at Kenya’s pros ahead of Magical Open
Golf Park’s David Wakhu follows the flight of his tee shot on the final day of the Nyali Golf Club’s leg of the Safari Tour Golf Series.

David Wakhu, who won the Nyali Golf and Country Club leg of the Sadfari Tour Golf Series, finished fourth on the Road to the Kenya Open ranking, with a total of 72 points; while the Professional Golfers of Kenya Captain, John Wangai, finished fifth with 68.5 points. He has featured at the Kenya Open on six occasions.

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Simon Ngige 1 - A look at Kenya’s pros ahead of Magical Open
Simon Ngige.

Thika Golf Club’s, Simon Ngige, finished sixth with 66.5 points and shall now take part at his 13th Kenya Open tournament; while Golf Park’s Tony Omuli will be taking part at his seventh Kenya Open event having finished in seventh place on the Road to Kenya Open ranking with 53.5 points.

-Simwa-

NELSON SIMWA - A look at Kenya’s pros ahead of Magical Open
Kenyan Pro Nelson Simwa

Vet Lab Sports Club’s Nelson Simwa and Windsor’s David Opati tied for eighth with 51 points apiece to complete the list of nine Kenyan players at this year’s tournament. The Safari Tour Golf Series, which was launched in August last year, formed the qualification tournament for Kenyan players taking part this year’s Kenya Open.

The nine pros join six amateur players who have already qualified to play at this year’s Magical Kenya Open Championship; these are Daniel Nduva, Samuel Njoroge, Mike Kisia, Edwin Mudanyi, Bradley Mogire and Mutahi Kibugu.

About Greg Snow

Snow started playing golf at the age of 6 in Kiambu inspired by his father John Snow and his brother Paul who played his golf in the UK.

He became a member at Muthaiga at the age of 10 years and played there as a junior till the age of 16. From 2008 to 2012 Snow landed a golf scholarship at the Odessa Golf College and played very competitively in North and South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia prior to turning pro in Kenya 2013.

 Kenyan PROs:

  1. Greg Snow – Muthaiga Golf Club
  2. Dismas Indiza – Mumias Sugar Golf Club
  3. David Opati – Windsor Golf Hotel and Country Club
  4. David Wakhu – The Golf Park
  5. Simon Ngige – Thika Golf Club
  6. C.J. Wangai – Sigona Golf Club
  7. Tony Omuli – The Golf Park
  8. Riz Charania – Windsor Golf Hotel and Country Club
  9. Nelson Simwa – Vet Lab Sports Club
  10. Justus Madoya – Great Rift Valley Lodge and Golf Resort
  11. Erick Ooko – Royal Nairobi Golf Club
  12. Jacob Okello – The Golf Park

Regional PROs:

  1. Philip Kasozi – Uganda Golf Club

Kenyan Elite Amateurs:

  1. Mike Kisia – Vet Lab Sports Club
  2. Edwin Mudanyi – Vet Lab Sports Club
  3. Samuel Njoroge – Kenya Railways Golf CLub
  4. Mutahi Kibugu – Muthaiga Golf Club
  5. Bradley Mogire – Emirates Golf Club, Dubai
  6. Daniel Nduva – Nyali Golf and Country Club

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