Kenya Golf Guide

Royal Nairobi Golf Club’s Hardeep Thethy in action during the Kenya Open in March. He was among the Kenyans at the American Express Dirab Golf Championships, but failed to make the cut.

By JAMES WAINDI (Chief Editor)

South African based Stephan Andersen finished this year’s American Express Dirab Championships at the par 72 Dirab Golf and Country Club in Saudi Arabia, on one over par 217 after three rounds.

He tied in the 19th position with Scotland’s Yasin Ali after a third round score of level par 72. In the opening round Andersen played one over and leveled the second round.

Brian Njoroge of Vet Lab finished with three over par 219 (71, 74, 74) while Sigona’s Ganeev Giddie would like to forget the Championship quickly after he managed 12 over 228 (78, 72, 78).

Meanwhile, nerves were strained to the breaking point as Shafiq Masih overturned a three-shot final round deficit to squeeze past Craig Smith of Wales and win the three round Championship, the third event on the 2012 MENA Golf Tour, in playoff on Wednesday.
Dipping deep into his knowledge of the course, the Pakistan ace matched the Welshman’s sizzling final round 66 – a new course record – to force a playoff after both finished level on eight-under 208 in regulation.
Masih birdied the first extra hole, the par-4, 18th to wrap up the biggest win of his career while Smith landed his approach in the bunker and had to settle for a par in a dramatic finish to the $50,000 tournament, held under the patronage of HRH Nawaf bin Faisal bin Fahad Al Saud, head of Saudi Arabia’s Youth Welfare Presidency.
England’s Ian Keenan carded back-to-back 69 to finish third on seven-under 209, one shot ahead of joint overnight joint leader William Harrold and two off Daniel Owen.
The day, however, belonged to Masih, a former golf instructor at the Dirab Golf and Country Club. Simply irresistible from tee to green, Masih rattled off seven birdies with just one bogey (on the 10th) to catch up with Smith, his playing partner for the day, before seeing off his challenge in the playoff.Khalid Abu Nahyan of the Saudi Golf Federation presented the winner’s trophy to Masih in the company of Ali Belhared of American Express, Adel Zarouni, vice chairman of the Emirates Golf Federation, and Mohamed Juma Buamaim, chairman of the MENA Golf Tour.

“It feels just great to win an international event of this stature,” said a jubilant Masih after receiving the biggest purse ($9,000) of his career.
“I have won a couple of tournaments in Pakistan, but this win is special. Special in the sense it has come on a course where I used to give golfing lessons to members of the club.
“In a way, my reputation was at stake. Well, I couldn’t have asked for more. This victory is a victory for Pakistan golf,” said Masih who is supported by TechAccess.
Smith also had his chances, but fumbled at the final hurdle, hitting his second shot into a greenside bunker in the playoff. He did hole a 10-footer for par, but it wasn’t enough in the end.
Disaster struck Daniel Owen on the par-5, 15th where he took a 10 and that completely blew his chances of winning the event. Take that away, and his walk up the 18th fairway might have been triumphant.
Morocco’s Amine El Malki finished on top in the amateur division with impressive rounds of 69 71 and 72. He was followed in that order by fellow countryman Mustapha El Maouas and Saudi Arabia’s Faisal  Salhab.
A new initiative of the Shaikh Maktoum Golf Foundation, the MENA Golf Tour is affiliated to R&A and the Arab Golf Federation. The six-stop tour, which is backed by Omega and Mercedes-Benz, boasts a combined prize fund of $325,000. nike huarache homme pas cher nike huarache homme pas cher

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