Long hitter Balala qualifies for Kenya Open

Adel Balala

Adel Balala in action during the Kenya Amateur Open Stroke Play Championship at the par 73  Nakuru Golf Club course on October 24, 2021.

Photo credit: Pool |

What you need to know:

  • The nett rounds went to James Koto of Uganda on 72, Peter Rimui on 71, and Joseph Gathumbi and Josphat Rono won the last two nett rounds on 74 and 76 nett.
  • Winning the subsidiary event was Kirti Morjaria on 40 points followed in second place by Eliud Kemboi on 39 and Ramesh Khagram and Kimeli Mutai who posted 38 and 34 points.
  • The final round attracted a big crowd of golf enthusiasts from the Central Rift region.

The on-form and long-hitting Adel Balala from Nyali Golf and Country Club Mombasa is the new Kenya Amateur Open Stroke Play golf champion.

Balala shot one under par 72 in the final round of this year’s Kenya Amateur Open Stroke Play championship at the par 73 Nakuru Golf Club course on Sunday for a four rounds total of seven under par 285, to beat Kiambu and Ndumberi Golf Club’s Michael Karanga by three shots.

During the hotly charged final round, Balala made a slow start by dropping a shot at the first hole where he pushed his tee shot to the left, had a bad approach shot, missed a close one at the third hole, but managed to recover two shots at the fourth and fifth. He then over pitched the eighth green top drop two shots there.

He however remained in full control after picking up a birdie at the nine and 10th holes, and at the 13th 14th and the par three 17th.

He however pushed his driver to the left bush at the 18t where he had to take a penalty, then missed the green after firing to the right bunker to eventually drop two shots there.

“I am very proud of myself and feeling confident for the future winning four tournaments all of the on under par. I owe my current success to the late legendary professional Charles Farrar for believing in me and pushing me back to golf having given up the game briefly," said Balala, who also thanked his family and particularly his father, Taufiq Balala for the tremendous support he has given him.

“I have become more mature and mentally focused now and my immediate plan is to play in the rest of the Kenya Amateur Golf championship(KAGC) series then travel to Abudhabi to train and qualify for the HSBC tournament, but before that, I would like win the Uganda Open with good under par scores," added Balala after receiving the Kenyatta Memorial Bowl from Kenya Golf Union (KGU) chairman Peter Kiguru.

He becomes the second amateur to qualify for the 2022 Magical Kenya Open, the first one having been John Lejirmah of Railway, who won the Kenya Amateur Match play championship early this year.

Balala has also taken over the lead in the KAGC Order of Merit with a total of 654.1 points, ahead of Michael Karanga 632.5.

Meanwhile, Karanga also shot one under par 72 to finish with four under par total of 288, while John Lejirmah was third on two under 290.

James Kamenchu won the first round gross on 71 and the second round went Rwanda’s Celestin Nsanzuwera with 70.

The last two rounds gross went to Nelson Koech and Elly Barno of Nandi on 70 and 72. Taking the overall nett title was Tej Bachu from Kericho on 289, followed by Simon Karari of Thika Greens on 298 and junior player Wasim Ali was third on 298.

The nett rounds went to James Koto of Uganda on 72, Peter Rimui on 71, and Joseph Gathumbi and Josphat Rono won the last two nett rounds on 74 and 76 nett.

Winning the subsidiary event was Kirti Morjaria on 40 points followed in second place by Eliud Kemboi on 39 and Ramesh Khagram and Kimeli Mutai who posted 38 and 34 points.

The final round attracted a big crowd of golf enthusiasts from the Central Rift region.

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