Kenya Golf Guide

CJ Wangai


With less than 24 hours to the start of the 2019 KCB Karen Masters, Kenya’s CJ Wangai thinks better things are in the offing for his spirited Sunshine Tour campaign.

The Sigona resident professional -who skipped the recent Sun City Sunshine Tour round due to pressing commitments -also believes he is getting stronger with every tournament-, thanks to his fifth career hole-in-one which he delivered at the Par-3 11th hole today.

Wangai’s hole-in-one was no doubt the highlight of the Pro-Am traditionally used as warm-up to action proper.

Following his stellar shot, Wangai said he will attempt a repeat performance this week on the par 3 fifth which is incidentally the designated hole for the Ksh. 6.5 million Rav4 hole-in-one prize, courtesy of Toyota Kenya.

“How I wish this had happened on hole 5 tomorrow,” he quipped, adding: “The hole-in-one is definitely a sign of better things to come this week. I have won two tournaments in the KCB Road To Masters and topped the Order of Merit. The hole-in-one couldn’t have come at a better time when we all have our eyes firmly set on Sunshine Tour golf tomorrow (today).” 

Wangai racked up the first two Road to Masters tournaments at Nyali and Thika. He achieved yesterday’s feat upon hitting the target from 141 yards with a 52 gap wedge.

“I was honestly not going for a hole-one-one. I was juts playing my game but when I hit the ball with my wedge into the hole, i was over the moon,” said Wangai, who has had four more hole in ones in his golfing career. 

The 2019 KCB Karen Masters will feature a large filed of 156 golfers, 100 of which will be from the Sunshine Tour. Kenya has a representation of 30 professionals and 4 single-handicapped amateurs with the rest of the pros drawn from other African countries including Nigeria, Uganda and Zimbabwe. 

Last year’s hole in one star Ryan Cairns from Zimbabwe is back as is defending champion Michael Palmer and runner up Merrick Bremner. The kenyan brigade has its usual suspects among them Tony Omuli, Kopan Timbe, Hesbon Kutwa, Justus Madoya, Greg Snow, Dismas Indiza, Riz Charania, David Opati, David Wakhu, Mohit Mediratta and among others. Last year, Kenya had three pros (Indiza, Medirrta and Charania) making the cut. In the inaugural edition in 2017, Greg Snow finished fourth overall.

Meanwhile, formalities of the past few days are over and it’s all systems go as the third edition of the KCB Karen Masters tees off at the par 72 Karen Country Club course. 

With organizers putting final touches to the event’s preparations, it been a beehive of activities with the setting up of the multi-million entertainment village where local and foreign musicians will perform and indeed the Sunshine Tour secretariat where the technical issues are being handled. The  course has remained closed to members since the start of the week with foreign and home golfers trying to feel the competition set up well in time. 

The top 60 golfers, depending on the cut, will proceed to the last two rounds after Friday’s round.

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