Lady golfer Kuria is inaugural Safaricom Tour overall winner

 Peter Ndegwa

Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa (left) hands over the trophy to Nanyuki Golfer Marion Kuria Githinji after emerging the overall winner in the Safaricom Golf Tour Finals at Vipingo Golf Course in Kilifi County on August 7, 2022.
 

Photo credit: Kevin Odit | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • It was a tough day though for James Kihiu who could only take home the Piga Mingi prize after posting 17 points, while the caddie winner was Kennedy Irungu.
  • Speaking during the prize giving ceremony, Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa said he was very pleased with the way the inaugural tourney progressed in all the venues where the 14 legs were hosted.

Nanyuki Sports Club lady golfer Marion Kuria Githinji Saturday produced an unbeatable 47 stableford points at the PGA Baobab Course at Vipingo Ridge Golf Resort in Kilifi County to emerge the overall winner of the inaugural Safaricom Golf Tour grand finale.

Playing off handicap 37, she beat the strong wind and tricky greens on the challenging par 72 course, despite having practised for only nine holes on Friday due to late arrival.

“I arrived late on Friday so was able to play a few holes to have the feel of the course, but I am very delighted to manage to score well and emerge the overall winner. This was my first time playing at Vipingo and I must thank Safaricom for having given us the opportunity, and I truly believe that every shot in an opportunity," said Githinji, who said she will encourage more ladies to play golf.

“I have been practising hard over the past three months because I wanted to play well here. I will continue practising as I would like to improve my handicap."

It all started with a couple of pars at the front nine which eventually produced 23 points, though it was the back nine’s 24 points which assured her of the overall trophy and a number of take away prizes, which included a Samsung S22 mobile phone, Craigs Voucher worth Sh50,000 and air time worth Sh10,000 courtesy of Safaricom.

Taking the ladies trophy with an impressive 44 points was Grace Naserian from Kenya Air Force Eastleigh Golf Club. She won ahead of Royal Nairobi’s Elizabeth Njau, who posted 32 points at Vipingo.

The men’s title went to Kericho Golf Club’s Kipkurui Langat with 36 points after beating Erastus Orina on countback.

Habil Olaka, the Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya Bankers Association, posted an impressive 42 points to lead the guests, while Alice Awiti emerged the staff winner with an excellent 46 points.

The two nines went to Justin Ongere on 22 points and Virginia Munyau who carded 23 points.

In the subsidiary events, Naomi Wafula won the ladies longest drive title after hitting a 265m drive, while the men’s title went to Collins Too who drove to 280m.

It was a tough day though for James Kihiu who could only take home the Piga Mingi prize after posting 17 points, while the caddie winner was Kennedy Irungu.

Speaking during the prize giving ceremony, Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa said he was very pleased with the way the inaugural tourney progressed in all the venues where the 14 legs were hosted.

“In the end, a total of 9000 golfers participated in the series, and my happiness is that out of those, 7000 were juniors who played in their 14 events and attended the clinics. This whole idea of starting the tour was encourage Kenyan youths to played the game even though from the underprivileged section of the society’’ said Ndegwa.

He said the tour had achieved a great deal of what had been intended and believes Kenya will be able to produce very talented young players capable of winning international events such as the Magical Kenya Open.

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