Karichu on spot

The Kenya Amateur Golf Championship (KAGC) golf series, formerly the Golfer of The Year (Goty), resumes at Mombasa Golf Club course along Mama Ngina Drive today with a big field of 104 players enlisted in the 2017 Coast Open Championship.
Series leader John Karichu of Limuru and his teammate Francis Kimani – who incidentally is the defending champion – headline the big field which includes Kenya Railway Golf Club’s duo of Samuel Njoroge and Alfred Nandwa as well as Vet Lab’s Edwin Mudanyi. The big names from the coast include William Kaguta playing off handicap 2 and Gurbux Singh who is the coast representative of Kenya Golf Union. Nyali international junior Agil Is-Haq and Thika’s Kenya Amateur Matchplay champion Joseph Gathumbi are among the players playing off scratch.
The Coast Open is one of the tournaments being used as a yardstick to determine the national team to the East African Challenge slated for Dar Gymkhana in Tanzania from August 22 to 27. The national team will be named after the next round at Kabete Open slated for Vet Lab from August 5-6.
Coast Open has a rich history. The event has been held on an annual basis, except for the time during the First and Second World War.
The event, which marks its 95th year will be played on a 36-hole strokeplay format where the Barry Cup, donated by the club’s first ever golf captain Percy Barry in 1913, will be at stake.
Mombasa Golf Club chairman Mark Mbua expects tough tournament due to incessant monsoon winds blowing on the course.
Players had a feel of the course yesterday and found the conditions quite windy. The Coast Open is one of the few events on the KAGC calender played at see level including Nyali Open which is the season closer later in the year. The KAGC has been to Sigona, Muthaiga, Windsor, Nakuru, Limuru and Kitale.
“Previously we have been tough on the pin positions. But this time round we will be kind enough to allow the field post an under par score; so the pin positions should be quite unforgiving. The hole 18 pin will be at the same position. But due to the monsoons which usually come around July, we expected the tournament to be generally tough. The fairways are quite lush green due to the rains we have received over the past few weeks. The greens are playing fast and soft, so we expect a good event from the field,” said Mbua.

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