Top amateur golfer Shiharsy emerges top in NCBA golf series finale

Kitale Golf Club’s Philip Shiharsy (left) is awarded his winner's trophy by NCBA Group Managing Director John Gachora after emerging as the overall winner of the 2023 NCBA Golf Series at Sigona Golf Club on December 1, 2023.

What you need to know:

  • Playing off handicap five, Shiharsy - who also coaches junior golfers in Kitale - shot three over par 75 gross to clinch the overall winner’s trophy plus Sh100,000.

Kitale Golf Club’s top amateur Philip Shiharsy beat Uganda’s Peter Tumusiime by one shot to claim the overall title in the 2023 NCBA golf series at the par 72 Sigona Golf Club course on Friday.

Playing off handicap five, Shiharsy - who also coaches junior golfers in Kitale - shot three over par 75 gross to clinch the overall winner’s trophy plus Sh100,000.

“I am so happy beating a big field of 170 players on this tough course and emerging the winner. The course though very hilly, is in great condition and easy to score birdies if you stay on course," said Shiharsy, who also trains juniors in Kitale.

He picked up a birdie at the long par five-10th, but dropped a shot at the par three-11th and a double at the 12th, but birdied the 14th, 15th and 16th but double-bogeyed the 17th hole.

He had birdied the first hole, though he later dropped shots on the fourth, sixth and seventh of the front nine.

“This victory is the culmination and hard work and dedication, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to compete against such a strong field in this event. The NCBA series provided an opportunity for golfers like us," added Shiharsy.

The Ugandan Tumusiime had also birdied the first hole but bogeyed the fourth and double-bogeyed the eighth after picking two other bogeys earlier on.

His back nine, however, included two double-bogeys and a couple of single bogeys for a four over par 76 to take the second prize and settle for the men’s gross title.

Finishing second in the men’s gross category was Kakamega’s Cedric Konzolo, who carded 77 gross, while another Kakamega player Jimmy Akhonya, took the nett title with an impressive score of 68 nett.

In the ladies' section, Karen Country Club’s Louisa Gitau, playing off handicap five, posted 84 gross to beat Jaini Shah on countback as Kitale’s Josephine Chesang took the nett title with a score of 73 nett.

In the staff category, Charles Omondi emerged as the winner with a score of 97 gross, while Limuru’s John Kariuki shot 80 gross to emerge as the guest winner.

Meanwhile, Telvin Thuku emerged as the best junior, while in the subsidiary events, John Kariuki also took the longest drive.

The ladies' longest drive title went to Uganda with Uganda’s leading lady golfer Peace Kabasweka, with Rahab Thuo taking the nearest to pin honours.

Speaking during the prize-giving ceremony, NCBA Group Managing Director, John Gachora, said the 2023 NCBA Golf Series Grand Finale was a testament to the caliber of golfing talent in the region.

“We have witnessed remarkable performances, and Philip Shiharsy’s victory reflects competitive spirit that defines this series. The series has been a celebration of talent, sportsmanship."

Kenya Golf Union (KGU) Chairman Philip Ochola said: “The enhanced visibility of the NCBA events both locally and nationally was a key indicator of the successful collaboration between the KGU and NCBA bank.’’ said Ochola, who paid tribute to NCBA Bank for its contribution in the game of golf which goes beyond the NCBA series and the Kenya Amateur Golf Championship (KAGC) series.

This year, the series featured 23 events in various Kenyan clubs and one in Uganda and Tanzania. In addition, NCBA also supported several junior events in the country.