Nanyuki’s Marion Githinji Crowned Safaricom Golf Tour Champion

Playing off handicap 37, Githinji, who had qualified for the finals after emerging the winner in the Ladies Category in Nanyuki

Marion Githinji from Nanyuki Golf Club has been crowned the overall winner of the inaugural Safaricom Golf Tour held at the Vipingo Ridge Baobab Golf Course in Kilifi County.  

Playing off handicap 37, Githinji, who had qualified for the finals after emerging the winner in the Ladies Category in Nanyuki, returned a score of 47 Stableford points courtesy of 23 points in the front nine and 24 points in the back nine to claim the overall title.

“It feels incredible and at the same time unbelievable to win this title.  This was my first time playing here at Vipingo. Hence, I had to capitalize on every shot and opportunity on the course. I played an easy game with no pressure as the course was also in good condition though a little bit windy. My four-ball team was good and made the game enjoyable. I thank Safaricom for this wonderful and worthy initiative, especially with the junior programme, which nurtures and develops young talents for the country’s future golfing sport.

Claiming the top prize in the Ladies’ category was the Kenya Airforce player Grace Naserian with 44 points ahead of Elizabeth Njau of the Royal Nairobi Golf Club, who settled for the Runners up on 32 points.

In the Men’s Category, Dr. Kipkirui Langat of Kericho Golf Club fended off stiff competition from his club-mate Erastus Orina to emerge the winner with 36 points on countback.

Collins Too and Naomi Wafula took the longest drive contest while Nyanza-based and Eldoret leg overall winner Alice Awiti won the Safaricom staff prize.

Meanwhile, claiming the Best Nines prize were Justine Ongere on 22 points and Virginia Munyau on 23 points, with Habil Olaka, who was playing off handicap 19, settling for the Guest prize award on 42 points.

The Saturday event marked the close of the inaugural Safaricom Golf Tour series that was launched in January at the semi-public Golf Park, with the tour having traversed 14 golf courses across the country, namely: Nanyuki, Limuru, Muthaiga, Nyanza, Machakos, Eldoret, Karen, Nyali, Kericho, Kitale, Nakuru, Kenya Airforce, Vetlab and Royal Nairobi Golf Club, drawing a field of more than 9,000 participants in various tournaments, junior clinics and outreach programmes.

“Our partnership with the Junior Golf Foundation has played a great role in discovering and nurturing new talents across the country. I thank all the stakeholders who have made our inaugural series successful. Through the spirit of Tuinuane, our series has been able to discover, nurture, lift and expose over 4,000 juniors through the golf tournaments, clinics and outreach programme,” said Peter Ndegwa, CEO Safaricom.

The junior tournament winners will have a chance to attend a 3-day elite camp later in the year. Junior Golf Foundation will conduct the Training in partnership with the US Kids Golf Foundation.