NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 16 – Golf Park’s Tony Omuli claimed his first-ever Safari Tour Golf Series win at the Royal Nairobi Golf Club leg of the Tour after he defeated homeboy Eric Ooko in a three-hole playoff that was played after 72 holes.
Having finished their four-round challenge tied at 3-over par 291 scores at the top of the leaderboard, both embarked on the playoff at the par-4, 10th, the par-4 11th and the par-4, 18th holes; setting a stage for a grand finish to the tournament.
At the 10th, both got off to a par before proceeding to the 11th where Omuli held par as Ooko holed a bogey.
At the 18th, Ooko’s second shot bounced off a tree to land on the fairway while Omuli found the middle of the fairway with his second. They both missed birdie chances on the green, but it was Omuli who carried the day having held par as Ooko dropped yet another shot.
Earlier in the day, Omuli had carded a round of 72 to match his round from Tuesday; seeing him cement his 3-over par 291 score. On his part, Ooko had a less-than-ideal day, posting a 5-over par 77 score, in the process eroding the tremendous effort he had made yesterday to post an identical score as Omuli.
Speaking after the round, Omuli said that he was delighted with the result, adding that it adds impetuous to his Safari Tour challenge for the remainder of the season.
“I am extremely happy to have my first Safari Tour victory. It has been a long time coming and I think it comes at the right time just as we are getting into the thick of things in this year’s Safari Tour calendar. I believe that this will give me enough motivation to challenge for the top position in the remaining legs of the series,” he said.
On his part, Ooko expressed disappointment for the missed opportunity to win his first Safari Tour victory at his home club but remained satisfied with his best-ever finish at the Safari Tour.
“I am gutted with my performance today as it’s clear that I lost a chance to record my first Safari Tour win. I am, however, encouraged with the performance and look forward to similar performances in subsequent events,” he said.
For his efforts, Omuli took home Sh105,000 in prize money while Ooko bagged Sh70,000. Meanwhile, Mohit Mediratta and Simon Ngige ended their campaign at the tournament tied in second having posted 4-over par 292 scores; taking home Sh54,250 apiece.
The trio of Njuguna Ngugi, Riz Charania and Johnnie-Walker-Sponsored Dismas Indiza posted 5-over par 293 scores seeing them end the tournament tied in fifth and taking home Sh45,500 each.
Nyali’s Dennis Nduva took the amateur silver salver having ended the tournament as the highest ranked elite amateur at the tournament.
For the second time this season, the Safari Tour featured two lady golfers taking part in the main tournament – amateur Naomi Wafula and lady pro golfer, Bhavi Shah who both missed the cut but put up a decent fight over the first two rounds – pointing to the growing interest among professional and elite amateur lady golfers in the tournament.
Action in the 2019-2020 Safari Tour Golf Series returns in Entebbe, Uganda at the Entebbe Open from the 30th of October to the 2nd of November 2019. The series is sponsored by both Magical Kenya and Absa.
Safari Tour Calendar 2019/20
Event 1 Nyali Golf and Country Club 24th – 28th August 2019 (DONE)
Event 2 Uganda Open (Lake Victoria Serena) 10th – 14th September 2019 (DONE)
Event 3 Royal Nairobi Golf Club 12th – 16th October 2019 (DONE)
Event 4 Entebbe Open (Entebbe Golf Club) 30th Oct – 2nd Nov 2019
Event 5 Great Rift Valley Golf Club 23rd – 27th November 2019
Event 6 Muthaiga Golf Club 14th – 18th December 2019
Event 7 Thika Greens 4th – 8th January 2020
Event 8 Sigona Golf Club 25th – 29th January 2020
Event 9 Kitante Open (Uganda Golf Club) 12th – 15th February 2020
Event 10 Karen Country Club 22nd -26th February 2020
Event 11 Tanzania Open (Kiligolf) TBC
2020 Magical Kenya Open, Karen Country Club, 12th – 15th March 2020.