NAIROBI, Kenya, October 17- The “highly” connected team of Pastor George Njugu, Bishop Allan Kiuna Wairi, Nelson Mudanyi and John Gitonga are the winners of the Dasani Golf Gala qualifier held at Kenya’s Home of Golf, the Muthaiga Golf Club.
This was the last qualifier in the 18-part Dasani Golf Gala, 2010 season that will culminate with the Grand Finale this Saturday at Muthaiga.
Veteran golfer, Pastor Njugu, playing off handicap seven returned the days’ top score, a level-gross score of 71 for a total of 43 stable-ford points to anchor his team to victory.
Njugu started his round with two pars on the difficult par-four opening hole and another on the par-three second, one of the most challenging holes at Muthaiga.
He dropped a shot on the relatively easy par-four third and on the tricky and long par-five seventh, finishing with a total of 20 stable ford points.
On the back nine, Pastor Njugu went wild, firing five pars, one lone bogey on the par-three 11th and three birdies on the difficult par-four 14th, the drive-able par-four 17th and a closing birdie on the par-five 18th for a huge 23-points and an 18-hole total of 43 points.
Commenting on his performance, Pastor Njugu said golf was a strange game.
“Sometimes, I can’t make par over several holes and it leaves me wondering if I should give up the game,” Njugu commented. “But today, it all came together and I have hopefully led my team to the Dasani Golf Gala Grand Finale.”
Pastor Wairi, the lead Pastor at the Jubilee Christian Church returned an average score of 37 points, managing a lone birdie on the dogleg left par five-10th.
Wairi’s round got off to a rocky start, bogeying the first two holes before making birdie on the par-four third. However, he made another bogey on the easy par-five fourth and at that point, it appeared his solid golf swing would desert him.
“After the first five holes, I was getting very sceptical, I just could not connect my mid-irons well and it looked like it was going to be one of those days,” Wairi commented.
“Anyway, four pars in a trot, from the sixth to the ninth and the birdie on the 10th, put me back on track.” Commenting on her husband’s performance, Reverend Kathy Kiuna said the Bishop’s performance was impressive.
“Bishop Wairi enjoys his golf and he does love competing,” Rev Kiuna said.
“Although his performance was impressive today, he has his team-mates to thank for qualifying for the finals.”
Scratch handicap golfer and Kenya International, Nelson Mudanyi, a member of the Kenya team to the East Africa Golf Challenge in Rwanda, later in November, carried his weight, and returned a level gross score of 37 points.
Mudanyi, who was recently granted membership at the Muthaiga Golf Club, started off on a shaky note, dropping three shots on the easy par-four third hole before birding the par-three fifth and the par-four eighth.
On the back nine the young Mudanyi made birdie on the par-four 12th, one of the most difficult holes at Muthaiga but failed to capitalise on the easier par-five 10th and 18th holes.
With Pastors Njugu and Wairi blazing the way, the team aggregate score stood at 117 points, the highest yet on the Dasani Golf Gala.
Speaking after his round, Mudanyi attributed his form to the recent Kenya Amateur Team “boot-camp”.
“I was part of the team that was training for the Eisenhower Trophy and for the East Africa Golf Challenge and this camp helped my golf sharpen,” Mudanyi commented.
“Being a member of this great club has also helped me harness my skills.” John Gitonga, another Kenya International, was the team’s weakest link with a commendable 34 points.
The runner up team of Stellah Macharia, May Maingi, John Njaaga and Voe Mbuchucha came in a close second with 116 points whilst the team of Ujay Rajani, Kumar Dhall, Deepak Vohora and Rajesh Vohora were third with 111 points.
The team of Martin Mwangi, Francis Irungu, David Irungu and John Muhinja were fourth with 108 points and the team of Charles Gikundi, JG Irancha, Julius Mutethia and David Magiri were fifth with 103 points.
These five teams will now represent Muthaiga at the Dasani Golf Gala Grand Finale were they will battle another 45 teams from around the country for the top prize, an all expenses golf trip to the Coca-Cola Championships and the Gary Player Invitational at the Fancourt Golf Resort in George, South Africa.