After the most successful Magical Kenya Open at Karen Country Club where Kenya hosted its first ever European Tour event, golfers must be wondering where the next fix will come from.
Fans need not to fear as the 95th edition of the continent’s premier amateur event, the Tannahill Shield is so to be held over the Easter holiday.
Inaugurated in February 1924 at Royal Nairobi Golf Club, Kenya’s oldest golf course, the Tannahill Shield also known as the “Easter Tournament” brings together Kenya’s top amateur golfers to battle it out for honour, glory and bragging rights over three Easter days commencing on Good Friday and ending on Easter Sunday.
As usual, nine teams will be competing for the Tannahill Shield, presented by Mrs Arthur Tannahill in 1938 in honour of her late husband Arthur C. Tannahill, who was an avid golfer and one of the originators of the Easter Tournament.
The nine teams competing this year will be the hosts Royal Nairobi Golf Club, their chief guest Mombasa Golf Club, Muthaiga Golf Club, Vet Lab Sports Club, Western Kenya, Railways Golf Club, Windsor Golf Club, Limuru Country Club and Sigona Golf Club.
During the 2018 edition, hosts Royal, which was represented by players like Dennis Saikwa, Kevin Juma, Jay Sandhu, Quram Bhatti, Jatinder Thethy, Joseah Kogo, Paul Ichangi, Joshua Ichangi, Bo Ciera and Abner Onsumu, put up a strong fight to recapture the Shield from their traditional rivals Muthaiga.
Royal beat Vet Lab Sports Club 5-3 and halved 4-4 with Muthaiga in the fourth round for a total of 45 points, to win by three points. Royal coach Charan Thethy, who is finalising his team on Thursday, is expected to make some few changes, though he says his team remains solid and set for this year’s tournament.
Like in the past, the teams all play each other in a three-way-round-round matches and the format of play is foursomes, which emphasises teamwork over individual play. A win is worth two points and a draw one point apiece.
As has been the case over the last four years, the main tournament will be preceded by the Junior Tannahill Shield, which will be contested by upcoming juniors from all over the country.
The Junior Tannahill Shield was introduced to ensure that all clubs have a steady flow of junior players coming through to play in the main tournament and this year will see a significant increase in the number of new players in the Tannahill Shield.
This also augers well for the development of golf in the country generally as most of the leading players nationally have cut their teeth in past Easter Tournaments.
The headline sponsor for this year’s tournament, just as last year, is Jamii Telecom through Faiba.
The company’s innovative spirit, reliability and market competitiveness echo the winning characteristics required of the participating teams and this collaboration will enable the event continue growing and give the golfers and fans the experience of their lives.
Royal Nairobi Golf Club is therefore the place to be, come the Easter weekend.