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Royal Club’s Ooko holds off opponents to triumph at Vet Lab

Royal Nairobi Golf Club’s Erick Ooko beat Sigona’s John Wangai by two shots at the par-72 Vet Lab Sports Club course to win first leg of ‘Road to Karen’ golf series.

Like in the second round, Ooko, carded one over par 73 on Wednesday, a round despite starting with a bogey at the first hole, and two others at the fourth and seventh at the first nine and 11th and 16th at the back nine in the tournament, which is a qualifier for Karen Masters golf tournament.

He however managed to birdie the second, fourth and seventh holes for his second straight 73 which gave him a total of four over par 220 gross. Wangai, on the other hand, birdied the fifth and seventh holes at the outward nine and at the 12th and 15th at the back nine where he bogeyed the 10th.Like Ooko, Wangai also had started with a bogey at the first hole and later on  at the eighth.

“The course is playing well, although long because of the rains. One has to stay on the fairways in order to score well. The rough is really bad,’’ said Wangai who is also the captain of the Professional Golfers of Kenya (PGK).

Meanwhile Mumias-based Dismas Indiza dropped to third place after a 75 in the third and final round having made only one birdie at the 10th against four bogeys.

Making his way to the top 10, was Ganeev Giddie who managed to overcome a disastrous 81 in the first round to shoot  76 in the second round, and the only under-par score in yesterday’s final round.

Giddie picked up birdies over the second, fifth, seventh, and 10th, 15th and 18th though having also made bogeys over the first, sixth, 11th, 12th and 17th for his closing 71 and a total of 228 to finish in ninth place.

Only 18 pros turned up for the first leg, although 22 players had enlisted to play. The pros now move to the par 71 Muthaiga Golf Club course tomorrow for the [email protected] event being held to mark the Kenya Golf Union’s 90th anniversary where the pros will play for a total of Sh150,000.

Other KCB Karen Masters qualifying events are set for Muthaiga on May 28, Sigona (June 11), and Karen on June 24 and July 8. The local pros have been given 32 slots in the Sunshine Tour sanctioned Karen Masters.

The final leader board at Vet Lab;

220 Erick Ooko (Royal) 74, 73, 73

222 John Wangai(Sigona) 79, 71, 72

223 Dismas Indiza(Mumias) 75, 73, 75

224 David Wakhu (Golf Park) 73, 76, 75

227 Nelson Mudanyi (Muthaiga) 78, 75, 74

227 Mathew Omondi (Vet Lab) 78, 74, 75

227 Nelson Simwa (Vet Lab) 77, 74, 76

227 Justus Madoya (Great Rift) 75, 76, 76

228 Ganeev Giddie (Muthaiga) 81, 76, 71

229 Richard Ainley (Nakuru) 79, 73, 77