Kenyans fancy EA Challenge chances

National golf team coach John van Liefland says Kenya stands a good chance of returning home with the East Africa Challenge Cup from Tanzania if the players play per the team plan.

He said Kenya’s biggest problem has been the short game and proper pairing which he said he had been taking care of that.

Speaking at the Kenya Railway Golf Club before departing for Dar es Salaam for this year’s East Africa Challenge Cup at Dar es Salaam Gymkhana from Wednesday, Liefland said the Ryder format during the Victoria Cup was an easy and good format to plan for a team.

“The East Africa Challenge is being played in a different format that I am not familiar with, but we have a plan and formula which should give us victory if we stick to it,” he said.

He said it was difficult for the team to have meaningful training during the election time, but the players have been focusing on their short game in the few days they have been training together.

“The boys are sharp and looking forward to the tournament in Tanzania where we will try and get the two juniors play with a senior player in the foursomes and four ball better ball.

“The short game is what we are, however, focusing on because it has always been the problem for most of our players in international events,” said Liefland.

The team, being captained by Railway’s Alfred Nandwa, is an experienced side with all the players having represented the country in international events.

“We have very good ball players capable of striking the ball well and reaching any green on regulation but as you know, it is what one does on the green which real matter and that is why we have been focusing on short game or chip and putt,” added the coach.

Kenya Golf Union (KGU) chairman Richard Wanjalla, who led the team to Tanzania, said he will be the happiest person if the boys deliver the cup to Kenya.

Kenya’s full line-up is: Alfred Nandwa (captain), Samuel Njoroge (Railway), John Karichu (Limuru), Edwin Mudanyi, Mike Kisia (Vet Lab), Dennis Saikwa (Royal) and the two juniors Agil Is-Haq and Mutahi Kibugu (Muthaiga).

Besides Kenya and host Tanzania, other countries expected are Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia.

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