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HOW TOTO THIMBA WON 2019 KCB KAREN MASTERS

Posted on Monday, 1st July 2019 in Golf News
Kenya Golf Guide

South African Golfer Toto Thimba kisses his trophy after being crowned the 2019 KCB Karen Masters Golf Tournament Champion yesterday at Karen Country Club.

By DANIELLA APIYO AND AMANDA DAMARIS

Thirty three-year old South African Toto Thimba beat Portuguese Stephen Ferreira by three strokes to win the third edition of the KCB Karen Masters.

Both players were 23 under going into the par5-15th but Thimba pulled through with back to back birdies on holes 15, 16 and 17 which the Portuguese parred to finish second.

The Mamelodi-based Silver Lakes Country Club professional becomes the first black golfer to lay his hands on the coveted blue jacket following the four-day 72-hole stroke play event which folded it’s curtains at par 72 Karen County Club. It was a bitter pill for Ferreira to swallow after leading the tournament in the first three days. Ferreira went into the last round with a shot lead which he failed to sustain as round four action wore on.

Thimba, who also led his team to Pro-Am victory on Tuesday, was at it again with a tournament record of 26 under par 262 as the Kenyan round of the Sunshine Tour came to a dramatic end.

This went down as Thimba’s first career win in the prestigious Sunshine. “Every time I go to play in Africa I am always treated well by the home fans. I mean, the crowd which has trailed me over the last two days made me feel like I am home. It wasn’t easy fighting with Stephen, but I made it look easy going into the last four holes. I played well but Steve was quite aggressive. I have had to contend with immense pressure over the last the days but had great attitude this week. The win will definitely open the mighty doors of opportunity in the bigger Tours,” said Toto.

Ferreira who set a course record of 10 under on the opening day was left to rue his last round of 69 which handed his opponent the title in the latter stages.

I have had a great tournament. Shooting 23 under in four days and carding the event’s best round on Thursday is no mean achievement. I had a shaky start on the last round and lost it in the last four holes. Toto has played really well and deserves it at the end of the day,” said Ferreira.

Greg Snow was the leading Kenyan after he settled for joint seventh position on 11 under par 277.

David Wakhu was the second best placed Kenyan on 6 under par 282 gross to finish T27.

Im overly excited with the result. Wrapping up my campaign in the top ten is a great achievement. I didn’t have a good game in the first few hole so had to change my game plan going into the second nine wich paid off,” said Snow who played  a round of 2 under par 70 on the last day.

Thimba’s win earned him Ksh. 2.4million while Snow went home with Ksh. 365,750.

 

FINAL RESULTS:

1.         Toto Thimba   RSA      R. 348,700.00 (-26)    262     

2.         Stephen Ferreira         POR     R.243,100.00   (-23)    265     

3.         Keith Horne     RSA      (-17)    271     

4.         JC Ritchie         RSA      (-16 )   272                   

5.         Garrick Higgo RSA      (-14)    274     

6.         MJ Viljoen       RSA      (-13) 275                      

T7.         Thriston Lawrence      RSA      (-11)    277     

T7 .        Greg Snow       KEN (-11)         277                 

T 9.        Merrick Bremner        RSA (-10)         278                   

T9 .        Estiaan Conradie         RSA (-10)         278

T9 .        Steve Surry      ENG     (-10)    278                 

 

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KCB KAREN MASTERS CONTINUES TO BOOST KENYA’S GOLF TOURISM

Posted on Wednesday, 26th June 2019 in Golf News
Kenya Golf Guide

Kenya’s Greg Snow after winning a local tournament.

By DANIELLA APIYO AND AMANDA DAMARIS

Excitement is building in Nairobi with the creme de la creme of the continent’s best ready to tee it up for Sunshine Tour’s KCB Karen Masters from Thursday through to Sunday.

With the par 72 Karen Country Club course back to it’s lush-green condition, the country is already witnessing tourism boom what with extensive media coverage and enticing new visitors to the country.

KCB Group Marketing and Communications Director Angela Mwirigi said: “KCB’s investment in the Karen Masters is informed by the need to continually support the expansion of sport tourism in East Africa, one of the fastest growing sectors in the regional tourism industry. The tournament has grown in its stature, and we are delighted to welcome top class golfers in our country as we continue to redefine the golfing experience in the region” said Angela..”

Away from course action,  visiting foreigners have had an opportunity to savor Kenyan wildlife at Nairobi National Park and all that the county has to offer in terms of hospitality. 

Kenya has seen a spike in international and domestic golf tourism with the Kenya Open upgrading from Europe Challenge Tour to the main Tour, the introduction of Inter County Challenge at Thika Greens and now Karen Masters’ Sunshine Tour status.

This has contributed to guests flying in to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport from across the globe to play one of the  courses the capital has to offer including host venue Karen Country Club and Muthaiga Golf Club which has for donkey’s years played host to the Kenya Open. 

We see golf and tourism together as a viable platform to promote our country to the world with the country now hosting more international events. After hosting top European Tour ladies for a Pro-Am in Vipingo last year,  we hope to bring ladies’ global status proper to Kenya.  This year we had a  European Tour event at Karen Country Club for the first time, thanks to unswerving government support and widespread media coverage. Through extensive TV coverage we were able to reach millions of home across the globe with an array of visitors to coming Kenya for the first time. What’s more, hosting some of the world’s best golfers including ex- Europe Ryder Cup captain in this year’s Kenya Open , we are overly excited,” said Tourism CS Major Balls said at the close of this year’s Kenya Open. 

For the umpteenth time , Karen Masters will be further promoted throughout the event with tee boxes around the golf course featuring giant backdrops showcasing its strong  presence in Africa’s biggest golfing Tour, the Sunshine Tour. 

This week,  Nairobi hotels have been hosting Sunshine Tour officials, stars and their colleagues who took advantage of the tournament invitation to travel to Kenya a week earlier to savor stunning sights Nairobi has to offer, as well as preparing for the second staging of the regional status.

Sunshine Tour Tournament Director Garry Todd is delighted with the overall plans for this year’s tournament. “We are excited that preparations are in high gear ahead of this year’s KCB Karen Masters. We were here to finalize on the logistics for June and  confirmed the course as superbly maintained to host a world class tournament, we have changed hole 18 to be at hole no 12 to allow the spectators have a better experience” said Todd.

Todd and his operations team which  included Dornay Lombard inspected the 18 hole Karen Country Club golf course and facilities.

They focused on operational details ranging from the working plans and technical specifications.

KCB Karen Masters Tournament Director Andy Watt says he is working closely with the golf superintendent to present a prodigious golf course ahead of the event.

We are working very hard to give golfers a great experience of playing at our event, during this year’s KCB Karen Masters Tournament, the last three holes are all drivable par 4’s, birdies and eagles are possible and there will be neck and  neck competition towards the end”, said Andy.

One of the players making a comeback  to Kenya is defending champion Michael Palmer and last year’s runner up Merrick Bremner who is being sponsored by Betway. 

A total of 156 golfers will be  fighting to make the cut on Friday’s round 2 for the total prize purse of KSh15m at stake.

Being the third edition, it will be the second time it will be featuring in the prestigious Sunshine Tour.

KCB Bank Kenya, the title sponsor of Karen Masters, has put aside a total of KShs.70 million with KShs. 15 million set aside as prize money and other amounts going towards organization and promotion of the event. The Bank has also invited other partners like Safaricom, Coca-Cola, Toyota Kenya and Standard Group to enhance the Karen masters experience on and off thew course. 

Organised by the Karen Country Club, the economic impact of the tournament is estimated to be over Ksh. 150 million. Through a television reach of million over and above local and international print and online coverage, the third edition of the event is set to generate a public relations value (PRV)  of she 5 billion as golf fans from around the continent prepare for scintillating golfing action as well as entertainment at the village where foreign and local musicians will be performing this week. 

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