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Coastweek -- Yobesh Oyaro, [2nd right], Overall Winner with 42 points, receives a prize from, [from left], NGCC Lady captain Pauline Gachihi, Patrick Tumbo of Sanlam and NGCC Captain Bajaber Taib.. GOLF PHOTOS BY GILBERT ONCHOKE
Yobesh Oyaro Proves His Mettle To Win Sanlam Challenge

Coastweek -- In an increasingly intertwined world, if you dig deep enough you will find connections linking what apparently are unconnected activities and events, reports BY THE DRIVER.

After a few false starts, on and off, on again and then off again, the postponements resulting from a variety of reasons enumerated by Captain Taib Bajaber in his welcoming speech, the annual SANLAM  Golf Challenge competition finally took off at Nyali Golf and Country Club on Saturday 13th October 2018.

The competition attracted 122 players, of whom slightly more than the majority, a total of 67 to be precise, had reasons to be pleased with themselves for having stayed above the poverty line, rising above the score line of  the twenties, going into the thirties.

Out of them, three players broke through the ceiling to get into 40s, albeit, two of them, Christine Ockotch and Captain Taib Bajaber being just on the verge with 40 points.

The third, Yobesh Oyaro, perhaps having had  enough of the barbs thrown at him of allowing his other half to take the honour of winning too often, determined to prove his own mettle, rising above all  in the field, with 42 points to take the Overall Winner prize.  

Coastweek -- Christine Ockotch, (right), Lady Winner With 40 points receives a prize from Lilian Onyach.

Yobesh started well  with a par on the 1st and went on to pick up 9 points in the first four holes, the surplus  point coming off a par on the stroking 3rd for the thirteen handicapper.

However, illustrative of how the best laid plans can sometimes go wrong, were the next two holes, both of which he blanked, resulting in a big hole in his tally of points, reducing it to a deficit of 3 points at that stage.

Not deterred by this temporary set back, Yobesh steadied himself and picked up 2 points each on the next two  holes through one over par and finished the first nine with a bang, birdying the 9th for 4 points and a respectable  total of 17 points.

It was on the back nine that Yobesh showed his real intent with a superb knock of one under par 34, coming off  five straight pars and a 2 club birdie on the 15th, all producing 3 points each, continuing with his par game over the remaining holes out of which the par on the 16th was worth 3 points, resulting in a total of 25 points.

In any count back situation, this number would have been quite definitely unbeatable but the eventuality did not arise.

Taib Bajaber and Christine Ockotch shared the next best score but playing in separate categories, there was no contest between them, each taking the top place in their respective categories. 

The self confessed “good captain, bad golfer”, words which the Captain used to describe himself, had no reason in this particular instance to be apologetic about his game.

His score of 40 coming off 18 points in the first nine, comprised of regulation 2 points on all holes except the 1st which he bogeyed to lose a point but which he made up immediately with 3 points on the 2nd coming off a par.

The back nine was even more impressive with nothing less than regulation 2 points on every hole, the 11th, 13th, 14th and 15th being better than regulation with 3 points each, the 15th off a 2 club birdie producing a total of  22 points.

Christine had an identical break down of 18 and 22  but made in a more up and down manner.

Her 1st nine contained a double bogey, on the 4th costing her a point and worse a blank on the following hole,  the par five 5th.

However, her 2 club birdie on the 3rd and pars on the 6th and 8th earned her 3 points each to off set the loss,  levelling with regulation 18 points.

Coastweek -- Niran Hirani, Best Junior during Sanlam Golf Challenge at NGCC, with 36c/b, receives a prize from George Kuria.

The back nine had a flying start, another 2 club birdie on the 10th adding 4 points to the total straightaway.

Two consecutive pars thereafter and two more, on the 15th and the 17th added 12 more  points, a total of 16 points over those  six holes.

Regulation 2 points each on the 13th and 14th brought the total to 20 and with two singles, off a double bogey on the  stroking 16th and a bogey on the 18th the final total to 22.

On the gentlemen’s side, Omar Lewa followed  the Captain closely  with 39 points in the Runner up position,   followed by Muzahim Taib with 38 points in the Third place.

On the ladies side,  Christine was followed by two ladies, Perviz Barnsley and Pia Swatton with similar score of 38 and both with identical back nine of 22 points. 

On further scrutiny, Perviz got the better of Pia with her 16 points over the last six holes, resulting from a string of 3 points on the last four holes, added to 2 regulation points on the 13th and the 14th.

Pia on the other hand played out her better golf in the first three holes, picking up 3 points each.

She made 3 points also on the 14th and even better 4 points off a par on the 16th but lost two of the three  surplus points through double bogeys on the 15th and 17th.

Although beaten by Perviz for the Lady Runner Up prize, Pia did not end up a loser, her score placing her at the top of the Seniors while the Best Junior prize  was claimed by to Niran Hirani who however had to contend with the regular best junior contender Alyssa Jamal, both having posted a good score of  36 points.

Niran managed to beat Alyssa with a breakdown of 15 and 21 against Alyssa’s 16 and 20.

Niran made sure of a better count back over Alyssa by dropping just a single point on one hole on the back nine through a double bogey on the starting 10th with the rest regulation or better, while Alyssa dropped two shots  to double bogeys on the 14th and the 16th.

Among many acknowledgments of appreciation that the Captain made during his speech at the prize giving, one special mention was for the Green Keeper, Gulam Khaku for heeding the Captain’s suggestion of 666.

For those not conversant with golf parlance, it should be clarified that this is not the Beast’s Number as commonly understood .

On the golf course, the number signifies three categories of pin positions, namely easy, medium and difficult.

The Green Keeper in fact did one better by providing greater number of easier pin positions, which presumably explains good overall level of scoring, including the Captain’s, and thereby achieved the Benthamite utilitarian ideal of “greatest happiness for greatest number” among the golfing population !

Prizes in several winning categories, T-shirts for all the participants, half time refreshments, lunch, tea and finally dinner and drinks from the sponsors rounded off the SANLAM Golf Challenge day.

Many thanks, SANLAM for all that and the promise to come back.


Overall Winner: Yobesh Oyaro 42 points

MEN Winner: Taib Bajaber 40 points

Runner up: Omar Lewa 39 “

Third: Muzahim Taib 38 “

LADIES Winner: Christine Ockotch 40 points

Runner up:  Perviz Barnsley 38 points

Best Senior: Pia Swatton 38 points

Best Junior: Niran Hirani 36 “

Staff Winner: Humphrey Ndaiga 32 “

Guest Winner:  John Paul 29 “

Longest Drive (Man): Vimal Ranpura

Longest Drive (Lady):  Joyce Massai

Nearest to Pin (Man): Mwangi Mburu

Nearest to Pin (Lady): Susan Stokes



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