A record field of more than 100 players is expected in this year’s Coast Open Golf Championship set for this weekend at the Links Mombasa Golf Club course along Mama Ngina Drive Mombasa.
By noon on Tuesday, 95 players had enlisted to play in the event which marks its 95th year and where Barry Cup, donated by the club’s first ever golf captain Percy Barry in 1913, will be at stake.
The event has taken place annually, save for the period during the First and Second World War. Current Mombasa captain Mark Mbua on Tuesday said he was expecting more entries at the close of entries on Wednesday.
This year’s tournament, sponsored by Crown Paints, Jimmy Mbugua and Crown Beverages Ltd, is expected to be toughest as it will feature a big field of low handicap golfers, including the defending champion Francis Kimani of Limuru.
At off scratch, Kimani leads a bunch of seven players playing off scratch while another group of five are playing off plus one.
Those include current Order of Merit leader in the Kenya Amateur Golf Championship series John Karichu of Limuru, Mike Kisia and Edwin Mudanyi of Vet Lab, Alfred Nandwa and Samuel Njoroge of Railway.
There are nine others including Nyali’s international junior Agil Is-Haq and Kenya Amateur Matchplay champion Joseph Gathumbi of Thika are off one.
Meanwhile at Thika Sports Club, Kenya Amateur Matchplay champion Joseph Gathumbi fired seven under par 65 gross for 44 points off handicap one.
He won the overall title in this year’s Syngenta golf tournament.
His round included birdies on the first, second, third, seventh and ninth with only the day’s only bogey at the fifth. Paul Nduati (42) won men’s first prize ahead of Brian Omondi on 40 points.