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 the price to pay to enter the Johnnie Walker Golf
Series event staged at Nyali Golf and Country Club on
Saturday 1st April 2017.
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.
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..
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
Terry Odoo and
Venesa Peris produced the second best score of 35 points and
Christine Ockotch and Pia Swatton were third with 30 points.