NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 17 – A superb birdie chip off the edge of the 18th green saw Thika Golf Club’s Simon Ngige end his 2019 Magical Kenya Open Golf Championship campaign with a round of 69 for a tournament total of 5-under 279 to see him finish tied in 25th.
He was the best placed Kenyan at the European Tour event, a feat that saw him earn €10,615 (equivalent to Sh1.2mn) in his best ever performance at the Open.
He carded a total of 33 on the first nine courtesy of birdies at the par-3 second, the par-5, sixth and the par-4, seventh; with his only dropped shot at the first nine coming at the par-3 fourth. On the back nine, he shot a lone bogey at the par-5, 11th and holed the incredible birdie at the 18th to card a total of 36.
Speaking after the round, Ngige said he was pleased with his performance, adding that he now looks forward to playing at more tournaments.
“I had a lot of fun on the course and loved the fact that there were fans around me who made me feel comfortable. The golf course was in great shape and the wind wasn’t as severe as it has been through the week; so generally, it was a good day for me,” he said.
“I am going to Zambia in a week for the Zambia Open then the Zimbabwe Open. I am driving well off the tee and I just need to practice on the green from Wednesday.
Speaking about the impact the 2018/19 Safari Tour Golf Series has had on local Pros, Ngige said:
“The Safari Tour has been really good to us. For years, we have yearned for a Tour that engages us for a year; and now we have the Safari Tour which has tested us and pushed us out of our comfort zones. I look forward to playing at the 2019/2020 season of the tour.”
Meanwhile, Great Rift Valley Lodge and Golf Resort’s Justus Madoya, ended the tournament with a round of 75 to leave him tied in 72nd place with a total score of 4-over par 289.