NAIROBI, Kenya, July 25- The 11th leg of the Dasani Golf Gala played out at Nairobi’s Railway Club where the best player on the day, David Mbatia, missed out on an automatic place in the Grand Finale.
Mbatia, a handicap-7 golfer displayed impressive form to card a 3-under 46 but missed out on next month’s final when his team mates in the team competition faltered, meaning he can only hope for an invite from sponsors Coca-Cola to field in the final as a guest.
On the other hand, Claudio Maragia (handicap-14) will feature in the final despite a lacklustre gross score of 28 due to the fact his partners returned good scores as the intrigues of team competition came to play.
Mbatia started his round on a shaky note, posting bogeys on the first two holes before finding his swing to finish the opening nine with a 1-over 21.
On the back nine, Mbatia made mince meat of the golf course with his long drives off the tee; six birdies and two bogeys later, a 4-under par gross score followed for a massive 25- a total of 46.
Speaking after the prize giving ceremony, he could not hide his disappointment.
“I played really good golf and to fail to proceed to the finale is a huge disappointment,” Mbatia said adding, “I urge Coca-Cola to ensure that top individuals get considered for qualification.”
The team of Jonathan Mungai, Harris Kiarie, Muigai Githu and Claudio Maragia returned a team score of 109 points to claim top spot.
Githu anchored the team with 39 whilst Kiarie and Mungai both contributed 35.
David Kigomo, Abbas Nasser, John Wangai and Giginder Padam finished second to claim the other qualification slot for the final.
Kogomo lead with 42, Nasser added 36 and Padam was average with 30. Wangai, a handicap-1 golfer had a bad day managing only 29.
Mbatia was the top individual not in a qualifying whilst former Captain Isaac Gichia was the runner up with 39.
Chege Kiragu was third with 38. The guest winner was Raymond Nyanchoga with 37 and Tim Kiburi was the guest runner up with 33.
The Gala now heads to the Karen Country Club before moving to Nyeri, Eldoret, Nyanza and Kisii and will conclude on August 27 at the Karen Country Club.