Zim golfer Chinhoi breaks Safari Tour jinx

Zimbabwe's Robson Chinhoi displays the trophy after winning the second leg of the Safari Tour golf series at Royal Nairobi Golf Club on October 15, 2020.

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Chinhoi birdied two holes at the first nine’s second and seventh holes.
  • Chinhoi started his birdie-hunt with a three at the par four-10th

After finishing runners up four times in the past season, Zimbabwe’s Robson Chinhoi on Thursday walked away with the Safari Tour golf series second leg title following a brilliant round of five under par 67 in the closing round at the par 72 Royal Nairobi Golf Club course.

Playing in the final round with the two brothers Samuel Njoroge of Kenya Railway Golf Club and Sigona’s John Wangai, Chinhoi birdied two holes at the first nine’s second and seventh holes.

Just like in the third round, Chinhoi started his birdie-hunt with a three at the par four-10th, added three more at the 15th, 17th and attacked the par four-18th to about two feet for his sixth birdie, to beat Njoroge by a massive nine shots.

However, three putts at the par four-16th hole denied him a bogey-free round though he was very happy winning his first event in the Safari Tour after finishing second in four tournaments in the 2019/2020 season.

“My tee shots were solid, as I made all the fairways though I also missed a number of putts particularly at the first nine where I felt a bit nervous which is normal when you are playing in the final round and with good players," said Chinhoi, whose plan is to win a couple of events to qualify for the 2021 Magical Kenya Open.

“I have not played at Vet Lab just like it was my first time here at Royal, but I will try and keep it on the fairways and see how it goes." added the 29-year-old from Royal Harare Golf Club in Zimbabwe.

The day was not as good for the 2019 amateur Golfer of The Year champion Samuel Njoroge who said he was so fatigued in the final round probably because of the fact that he is not used to play many four rounds event and back to back for that matter.

Just like Chinhoi, Njoroge started well, making a birdie at the par five-second, then dropped two shots at the eighth and nine, and twice went into the hazard at the 11th and 12th  with a late birdie coming at the 17th.

"I did not have any pressure at all, but I just could not push myself to the limit I think, but all the same, I'm happy finishing second for the second week and in my second tournament as a pro."

While the winner Chinhoi won Sh150,000 including some bonus for scoring under par in four rounds, Njoroge took home Sh70,000 for his runner up position and 48 points in the “Road to Magical Kenya Open 2021 which gave him a total of 66.2 points in 11th position.

The winner earned 50 points for a total of 89.4 points including points from the last season.

Chinhoi who had qualified for the 2020 Magical Kenya Open which was cancelled because of the COVID-19, is currently in seventh place.

Round two leader Greg Snow, who is now leading the list for the Open on 168.2 points, shot level par 72 in the final round to finish in third place on one over par 289, just a shot better than Golf Park’s Eric Ooko who posted one over par 73 in the closing round.

The final leaderboard at Royal Nairobi:

Robnson Chinhoi (Zim) 71, 72, 69, 67 = 279

Samuel Njoroge 72, 71, 69, 76 = 288

Greg Snow 73, 69, 75, 72 = 289

Eric Ooko 72, 70, 75, 73 = 290

Simon Ngige 72, 75, 71, 74 = 292

Brian Njoroge 75, 76, 73, 69 = 293

Alfred Nandwa 73,77, 73, 70 = 293

Mohit Mediratta 74, 75, 74, 70 = 293