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Rokoine powers to Jamii Masters glory

NAIROBI, Kenya, March 22- Home golfer, Nicholas Rokoine held his nerve to win the Jamii Telecom PGK Masters at the Muthaiga Golf Club on Friday.

Rokoine who took charge of the event the day before after toppling then leader Dismas Indiza carded 4 under 75 on the par 71 course to end the four-day tournament with a total of 2 under 282 as he pocketed the Sh300,000 top prize.

It was the last build-up event before the European Tour Challenge Barclays Kenya Open that tees-off at the same venue from Thursday.

“I’m feeling actually better than last year and I’m ready to finish much better and higher that I did at last year’s Kenya Open. I believe more of us (Kenyans) will make the cut this year as opposed to last year,” the Muthaiga pro who finished joined 40th at the pristine Kenyan event said.

“I have worked on my swing and shots as well as the small aspects of my game that I felt I had weaknesses and I’m ready to go,” the player who turned pro in 2006 and will play in his sixth Kenya Open next week added.

Rokoine who turns 30 years in July admitted he did enough to hold on to the lead on the day since he thought he had done enough on Thursday when he shot level par 71 to snatch the lead from Indiza who endured a torrid time, losing four balls for 81.

“I did not play very well today but I’m generally happy with my score in all the four rounds. I feel comfortable that I will be in tip top condition for next week. We have had enough practice and I’m now raring to go.”

This was Rokoine’s second win of the season after clearing the ground with all his adversaries in the recent invitational KQ Safari Series Grand finale in Windsor.

Despite claiming joint second with youngster Stefan Andersen on level par 284, Riz Charania was left to rue a triple bogey he picked up on the par 4 hole nine.

Charania had moved up from 6th to 2nd on penultimate round on Thursday and was only two shots behind Rokoine then.

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But Winsor’s Charania had it rough on the last day when he hit four over par 75 for a cumulative score of level par 284 when the general feeling on the penultimate day was that he was a hot contender for the top prize.

Had Riz shirked away from the triple bogey he would have the Jamii Telecom trophy in the bag.

“In the front nine I shot 7 which was a triple bogey and this made the big difference. I had a lapse in concentration and this was truly disgusting,” said Charania as he recounted his woes.

David Odhiambo from Kisumu and Stefan Andersen were jointly fourth after they both shot one over par 285.

Yesterday’s round saw 220 amateurs brush shoulders with the pros in the ProAm event.

Another eight amateurs played in the main 72 hole main event alongside the pros with David Opati emerging tops with a score of 16 over 300.

1. Nicholas Rokoine (-2, 67, 69, 71, 75) 282
2. Stefan Andersen (level par: 69, 72, 73, 70) 284
2=Riz Charania (level par, 71, 71, 67, 75) 284
4. David Odhiambo (+1, 68,69,76, 72) 285
5. Greg Snow (+1: 74, 71, 69, 71) 285
6. Dismas Indiza (+3: 68, 67, 81, 71) 287
7. Jacob Okelo (+4: 73, 68, 75, 72) 288

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