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Trio makes cut: Mudanyi, Karichu and Njoroge set to grace this year’s Kenya Open

by kenya-tribune
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Multiple former Kenya champion John Karichu, last year’s winner Edwin Mudanyi and newly crowned champion Stephen Njoroge are among five amateurs assured of slots at the 2019 Kenya Open Championship slated for Karen Country Club from March 14-17.

This follows a ceremony where Kenya Golf Union (KGU) officially awarded the top six amateurs from the 2018 Kenya Amateur Golf Championship — formerly the Golfer of the Year (GOTY).

During the awards ceremony held at Muthaiga Golf Club, KGU also confirmed that they will announce the Junior Golf Foundation (JGF) nominee who will fill the sixth Kenya Open slot by the end of this month.

The six, including the junior nominee, will become the first ever Kenyan amateurs to grace a European Tour event. The 2019 Kenya Open will be making it’s debut in the main Tour after serving as a round of the Challenge Tour since 1991.

Automatically, the top eight Kenyan pros after the final of the Safari Tour this month, six amateurs who must be playing off scratch or better selected by KGU and then four pros invited by sponsors will represent the country at the Kenya Open. The 12 slots allocated to local pros are a reduction from the 22 who played in the previous European Challenge Tour.

Others named in the Kenya amateur team are South Africa-based Daniel Nduva from Nyali, who is also the winner of the Kenya Amateur Match Play Championship; Vet Lab’s Mike Kisia, who was picked from the KAGC ranking system and Bradley Mogire who chalked up the KGU wild card.

The KGU yesterday officially announced the winners of the 2018 KAAGC. Stroke Play champion Samuel Njoroge from Railway Club who won the Lagos Open, is the 2018 Kenya Amateur Champion. This is after he collected 545.6 points throughout the year to beat his closest competitor, Limuru Club’s John Karichu, who managed 469.6 points. The 2017 champion Edwin Mudanyi from Vet Lab Sports Club came third with 333.5 points.

Mudanyi, a sibling of Muthaiga resident pro Nelson Mudanyi, was also the winner of the lowest average gross score. Of his 20 best rounds, he managed an average score of 71.20 strokes, beating Karichu who had an average of 71.60 strokes.

Vet Lab won the club category having contributed the most amateur golfers in the KAGC throughout 2018. Royal Nairobi came= second with Limuru taking the third position.

The KGU also announced the launch of a talent development programme that will be conducted by the Golf Talent Foundation, a subsidiary of the union.

The program will take some of the talented amateur golfers through a training regime and equip them with skills that will see them do well even as they turn professional.

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