Former Lady captain at Nyali Golf and Country Club, Joyce Masai, who has not claimed any major title at Nyali for some time now, is back to winning ways.
The handicap 12 Masai over the weekend produced an excellent round of 43 Stableford points to beat a huge field of 200 players, and claim the overall title in the second leg of the KCB Road to Karen Masters golf series at the par 71 Nyali Golf and Country Club course.
Masai, who will from now henceforth play off handicap 10, parred six holes at the front nine where she only dropped shots at the fourth, seventh and eighth holes for 21 points.
At the back nine, Masai carded two over gross 22 points having only bogeyed the 13th and 16th to claim the overall title. She will now lead a team of six players to the Karen Masters Pro-Am in June at Karen Country Club.
“I feel so great and proud for winning this tournament because I have been practicing very hard over the past few weeks. This is one of the many major victories on the way,” said Masai, who however missed several birdie chances.
“KCB was my first bank when I turned 18 and I’m overly excited to be the one calling the shots on a day like this. I played really well today. I have been away for a while, but I want to assure you that its my first win of the many to come.
Playing at the Karen Masters Pro-Am is a dream come true, a great opportunity to rub shoulders with local and international pros from down south,” added Masai.
Despite the heat and the quick greens, over 94 players scored 30 points and better in the event which also saw 30 professionals battle it out for Sh500,000 courtesy of Kenya Commercial Bank.
Meanwhile, taking the men’s title in the amateur section of the weekend event, which attracted players from most of the Coast region and as far away as Golf Park, Vet Lab, Limuru, Kiambu, Nyanza, Sigona, and Muthaiga, was handicap nine Joseph Oluoch, who carded 41 points despite dropping five shots at the front nine, where he had started with a birdie at the first hole.
It was at the back nine where Oluoch birdied the 11th and the 18th with two bogeys at the 10th and 16th to beat second-placed Abdalla Taib by one point.
Taking the ladies title was Regina Kaveke, who combined 22 and 22 for a total of 42 points to win well ahead of Farida Saeed on 37 points. The staff prize went to Ibrahim Lande with 38 points.
Golf Park’s Fredrick Wagura carded 38 points to emerge the guest winner, while 13-year-old Andrew Wahome, a younger brother of former Coast Open champion Mathew Wahome, carded 38 points to claim the junior title and qualify for the Karen Masters pro-Am.
Wahome bogeyed the first, fourth and seventh at the front nine and 10th, 12th, and 13th at the back nine, with birdies at the 11th and 17th, though it was a double at the par three-18th which denied him the overall title.
“I was playing well particularly after making a birdie at the 17th. The double bogey at the last hole ruined my chances of winning the top prize,” said Wahome, who had also held on with the longest drive at the 16th for several hours, before Allan Mola arrived and pushed the longest drive by over 30 yards to eventually claim it.
The ladies’ longest drive went to Purity Mutinda, while Anthony Kariuki won the nearest to pin prize.
The third leg which will also feature professionals, will take place at Thika Sports Club from April 13.
The full team of qualifiers for the KCB Karen Masters Pro- Am
Joyce Masai, Joseph Oluoch, Fred Wagura, Abubakar Bajaber (a wildcard picked from a lucky dip of cards)
Junior winner: Andrew Wahome
Staff Winner: Ibrahim Lande (KCB Bank Platinum Relations Manager).