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Indiza, Snow, Wangai and Ngige set for KCB 'Karen Masters'

Kenya's finest golfers Dismas Indiza, CJ Wangai, Simon Ngige and Greg Snow are the only local professionals lined up for the Pro-Am of KCB Karen Masters, writes Samson Ateka.

The Pro-Am will curtain raise the third edition of the 72-hole strokeplay Sunshine Tour sanctioned event programmed for Thursday through to Sunday.

Each of the 36 pros entered for the Pro-Am will be accompanied by three amateurs.

The youngest player in tomorrow's draw is 13 year-old handicap 5 Andrew Wahome who will tee it up with South African pro Garrick Higgo, Azu Ogolla of KCB and Irene Kimeu.

CJ Wangai, the resident pro at Sigona, has the company of Nyali's Road To The Masters winner Joyce Masai, Sebo Kalsi and Gathuri Wanjau.

They will tee off from the first tee at 8:00am.

Quite a big chunk of Sunshine Tour pros will also be in action.

Among them are Karen Masters defending champion Michael Palmer and Merrick Bremner who is being sponsored by Betway.

Bremner is no stranger to the par 72 Karen course where he lost the blue jacket to Palmer last year.

Palmer will be with amateurs Anthony Murage and James Githinji and will tee-off from the tenth tee at 1.30pm. Merrick, on the other hand, will be with Purity Muthoni, Tom Karanja and Fernando Wangila also starting from the 10th tee.

KCB has invited partners including Standard Group, Johnnie Walker and Coca Cola to enhance the experience at the event for the thousands of golf fans expected to grace the event.

Entry at the event will be Kshs 1500 for a season ticket and 500 daily.


Greg Snow hits form as Thimba cuts Ferreira’s lead to one stroke

Kenya’s Greg Snow bounced back with an impressive round of 6 under par 66 to regain top 10 on the KCB Karen Masters leaderboard, writes SAMSOM ATEKA.

The Muthaiga professional, who finished fourth in the inaugural edition in 2017, had his penultimate day campaign effectively sewn-up when he sunk four birdies in the front nine and three in the back nine.

  Snow, who now the leads the Kenyan brigade on T8, started off on T2 during Thursday’s round one but dipped to T23 with 2 over par 74 on Friday.

The Safari Tour champion was nevertheless back in the grove upon closing day 3 proceedings with a gross total of 9 under par 207.

"Round three was all good as I was able to regain the top 10.

"I tried my level best to control the ball by hitting the greens more but I still feel I need to practice a lot more on my putting.

"The course is good condition and I see no reason why locals should not play well. In Sunday’s last round I will surely stay relaxed and see how it goes.

"I wish to thank my sponsors Johnny Walker for sponsoring me and (Dismas) Indiza.

Kenya’s Greg Snow scored an impressive round of 6 under par 66 to regain top 10 on the KCB Karen Masters leaderboard.

"At least it has eased off a big burden on our expenses," said Snow.

Snow birdied holes 1, 2,4,7, 12, 19 and 18 but dropped a shot on the par 4 -9th.

Golf Park pro David Wakhu is the second best placed Kenyan on a gross total of 7 under par 205 after dropping a shot on the par 4- 18th. Wakhu goes into the last round in joint 14th position.

Third placed local is Mumias long-hitter Dismas Indiza who heads to the closing round on a gross total of 5 under.

On the summit, the battle for the blue jacket served-up great moments ahead for fans with Portuguese Stephen Ferreira’s lead being trimmed to a mere one shot.

Ferreira has led the 2019 edition of the Masters from the start and has remained the darling of fans since Thursday.

Ferreira started round three with a three shot cushion, but not until South Africa’s Toto Thimba pilled immense pressure to cut his lead to a solitary shot. Both went into the last two holes separated by one stroke.

Ferreira wowed spectators at the par 72 Karen Country Club on Thursday when he set a course record with a scintillating round of 10 under par 62.

But Thimba who led his team to Pro-Am victory on Wednesday bounced back on day two with a stunning 9 under par 63 and its been neck and neck affair between the two front runners.

Whatever’s up their sleeves will be known on the last round on Sunday when the winner of the blue jacket will be feted.

Meanwhile, Kenya’s indiza hopes to attack the last round.

"After round two, I was just trying to stay patient and started off really solid today (Saturday).

"I drove the ball nicely, hit a lot of good quality shots into the greens.

"Lets hope for the best but I am excited with the score the locals have posted so far with 9 Kenyans in the money bracket.

"It’s a clear indication that standards have improved," said Indiza who wrapped up day three play on T25 with a score of 5 under par n 211.

Wakhu said: "It would have been nice to go eight under, but it became a mission impossible when I bogied the 18th hole."

Kenya faces tough test at Sunshine Golf tour in Nairobi

BY John Kwoba NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan professional golfer Greg Snow took a commanding lead at the Karen Masters golf tournament in Nairobi, which is part of the Africa Sunshine Tour.

Snow carded 67 points behind leader Stephen Ferreira of Italy to increase his hopes of winning the tournament, which has attracted 158 professional golfers from Africa and Europe. The tournament ends on Sunday.

"Obviously the plan is to win the event and just to have a solid week and play some good golf.

"I have been practicing well and I want to challenge for the honors.

"The course is in superb lush-green condition and I can only hope for the best.

"I will go for the cut and after securing a place in the money bracket, I will take the last two rounds as they come," said Snow on Friday.

Snow, together with Dismas Indiza and Simon Ngige, are expected to lead the 30-man Kenya squad with national team captain Charles Wangai.

"Our team is set for the Masters.

"We have sharpened our skills and improved on our game including putting and swinging.

"We are ready," said Wangai.

The 2019 KCB Karen Masters will offer an increased prize pot worth 15 million shillings for the winner ( 150,000 U.S. dollars) up from 13,500 dollars in 2018.

This makes it one of the most lucrative tournaments in the Sunshine Tour.

South Africa has over 100 golfers in the Tour including defending champion Michael Palmer, currently ranked 23rd in the Sunshine Tour rankings.

Others are nine of the top 10 players on the tour ranking that include Daniel Van Tonder, JC Ritchie, Callum Mowat, Garrick Higgo, Martin Rohwer, Thriston Lawrence, Neil Schietekat, Jacques Blaauw and Steve Surry.

Uganda has also sent top professional in Abraham Ainemani together with Phillip Kasozi, Deo Akope, Brian Toolit, Herman Mutawe and Ronald Rugumayo.

Zimbabwean Ryan Cairns, who won a Toyota Prado at last year’s tourney after sinking a hole-in-one on the 5th hole, is also in contention.



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