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Coastweek -- Dominic Makau, (centre), Men Winner, during Johnnie Walker Golf Series, with 39 points, receives a prize from Ben Ngeno, Eabl Regional Spirit Manager. Looking on is Nyali Golf and Country Club Captain Jon Stokes.
The Johnnie Walker Golf Series Promotes Spirit of Camaraderie  

Coastweek -- Given the date, it might have been taken as an “April Fool” prank, the demand, not  twice but three times over what normally is a reasonable entry fee of four hundred for a round of golf, throw in an extra hundred bob if you are inclined to take your chance at  what is, for most of the people at most of the times the mostly elusive, two club bet, reports THE DRIVER.

But a joke it was not.

That indeed was the price to pay to enter the Johnnie Walker Golf Series event staged at Nyali Golf and Country Club on Saturday 1st April 2017.

So what compelled 130 people to part with a tidy sum of twelve hundred and  that additional hundred for the aforesaid gambling types to play a round of golf?

What was the carrot dangling at the end of the big stick for indulging in such extravagance? 

Apart from the force of habit that makes them do what for most golfers is a routine Saturday activity, without which that particular day does not feel normal, it was the promise of a reward  of a bottle of Johnnie Walker Gold Reserve to each flight of four ball or in the case of a flight of three ball, a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label.

The idea behind the offer was to promote the spirit of camaraderie among the players who went through the eighteen holes together to stay together on the 19th imbibing the spirit provided by the sponsor..

 
Coastweek -- Pauline Gachihi, Lady Winner with 35c/b, during Johnnie Walker Golf Series at Nyali Golf and Country Club, receives a prize from Ben Ngeno, Eabl Regional Spirit Manager.

The even being a part of the series, there was also the chance to qualify for the grand Finale and win the grand prize at the end of the series which runs at selected clubs through the country.

This was the prospect awaiting four lucky winners, two gentlemen and two ladies who played on Saturday.

As expected, it was a closely fought out contest for the two coveted places in each category  to go forward in the series.

Dominic Makau clinched the top place on the gentlemen’s side  by a whisker with  39 points, followed just a point behind by three men vying for the other place.

With all the reasons narrated above for putting up a strong performance, Dominic it seems   had a different take, for he ascribed his success to nothing more than a desire to make money out of the three others in his flight on their side bets.

Dominic obviously succeeded, in his own words, in this quest to “inflict collateral damage” to the trio of Mark Mbua, Gurbux Singh and Eric Nyongesa but also reaching the bigger goal of carding the top score of the day.

At the end of the 1st nine, Dominic probably did not fancy his chances, having been short of  regulation 18 points by one, the blanked 5th causing loss of two points, of which he recovered one with 3 points on the stroking 7th off a par.

However, right at the beginning of the 2nd nine, he made up the deficit with a par on the 10th to pick up 3 points and then never looked back, making pars all the way, except the 15th and 16th which he bogeyed.

His pars on the 12th, 13th, 14th and 18th yielded 3 points a piece, the only deficit coming off the bogey on the 15th to end with 22 points on the back nine.

Standing right behind Dominic with 38 points was Clement Agina who also made 22 in his back nine, with two pars on two par threes, at the start on the 10th and the end on the 18th earning 3 points each.

With a haul of 4 points off a birdie on the 17th, Clement made sure of an unbeatable count back over Allan Mola who carded 20 points and Khurram Butt 19 points to book the place going forward in the series with Dominic.

Allan lost a couple of points through bogeys on the 10th and 17th but made up both with pars on the stroking 12th and 14th and then added extra two with a birdie on the stroking 16th to end with 20.

Khurram on his part picked 3 points a piece on the 1th, 12th and 14th but lost two points through a bogey on the 15th and a double on the 18th to end with 19 points.

The two were knocked out of the second position on count back but had the consolation of winning the third and fourth prize respectively, followed by Peter Mwangi in the fifth place, Peter having to fend off a challenge from Wachira Gitumbi, also with 37 points but between whom, Peter had the better count back of 20 points against Wachira’s 19 points.

Peter had dropped a point each on the 12th and 13th through double bogeys but picked up a point each with a par on the 14th and a 2 club birdie on the 15th and then struck the blow with a birdie on the 16th yielding 4 points.

Wachira too picked up 3 points each with pars on two holes, the 12th and the 13th and a haul of 4 points with a birdie, a 2 club on the 15th but had lost a point off a double bogey on the 14th and two more with the blanked 16th to end with 19 points.

The two top placed ladies, Pauline Gachihi and Rapthi De Silva also were involved in a tie, both carding 35 points.

Pauling however had the edge on Rapthi with her 17 points in the back nine counting out Rapthi’s 16.

Paulin had lost a point each on the 11th, 13th and 14th but made up two with 3 each on the 12th and 16th while Rapthy lost a point each on the 10th and 13th and two more with the blanked 17th and was only able to recover two of the lost four with a par on the 15th and one over on the stroking 16th.

Mary Mariga picked up the third prize on the ladies side with 34 points.

Thirty-four was also the winning score for the Staff Winner Godwin Karuga and Guest Winner George Rutto.

Gurbux may have lost his bet to Dominic but managed to feature in the winner’s list with his score of 20 points for the Best First Nine and Vishnu took the Second Nine with 22 points.

Prize giving was followed  by dinner with more of the golden liquid flowing to add to the party spirit.

Asante sana, East African Breweries Ltd. 

Thanks are also due to Shankar Electronics for sponsoring the Ladies Greensomes which preceded quietly with a rather small field a day before the Johnnie Walker.

Whether it was a working day or the prospect of playing another competition the following day, there was a cause for concern as to what kept most ladies away from the golf course for their Greensomes.

Well done, those few who considered it important enough to participate in what is a major and exclusively ladies competition in Nyali’s golf calendar.

The tried and tested “high and low” combination of Joyce Masai and Nila Devani certainly worked well, the pair bringing the winning score of 38 stableford points.

Joyce must have been pleased with all the strokes that Nila brought into the pool but by all accounts, Nila did more than that, not only her strokes but her putting round being a contributory factor to the pair’s success.

Terry Odoo and Venesa Peris produced the second best score of 35 points and Christine Ockotch and Pia Swatton were third with 30 points.

             

 

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