Home player Bo Ciera put in a gun-to-tape performance to win the Muthaiga Open, the third leg of the Kenya Amateur Golf Championship, KAGC. The in-form Ciera, playing off handicap one was crowned the champion today after posting a cumulative nine over par in the grueling 54-hole two-day competition.
Enjoying a one stroke lead alongside co-leader Peter Rimui of Nanyuki, Ciera got off to a slow start in today’s final round shooting three over par 39 on the front nine in a round made up of two birdies and three bogeys. A superb eagle on the 10th hole par five coupled with a near-flawless finish was enough to clinch Ciera the title.
“It feels great winning a Kenya Golf Union event for the first time. I have really been putting a lot of practice in my game this year as I play alongside upcoming junior players. It has been a tough two days and we have really been stretched to the limit by a beautiful but very tricky course whose greens were playing to international standards,” said Ciera who was last month crowned the Nairobi District Foursomes champion alongside playing partner Kiragu.
Denis Maara’s strong finish threatened to spoil the party for Ciera as the Limuru player’s string of three birdies on the 10th, 13th and 18th holes saw him finish second, one stroke behind the leader. Today’s level par score was a great finish for Maara who started the final round in the 11th position after carding 10 over par in the opening two rounds.
Man-of-the moment Mike Karanga failed to make it a hat-trick of wins after managing five over par 76 in today’s round. Fresh from back to back KAGC wins at Sigona and Nyeri, the Kiambu player was firmly in contention at the close of the first two rounds lying third, only one shot behind the co-leaders. A poor start on the front nine highlighted by a costly bogey on the par three 2nd hole followed by successive bogeys on the 7th and 8th, brought his quest to a screeching halt.
Near-man Peter Rimui went home empty handed, despite entering the final round in pole position. After missing the Nyeri title by a whisker, Rimui pressed the self-destruct button at the onset of today’s proceedings, for a measly 12 over par 83. His challenge was over by the third hole after he registered three consecutive bogeys a situation that was exacerbated by a double bogey on the par five seventh hole to finish T15.
The Muthaiga Open will be unfortunately remembered for the high scores posted by the country’s elite amateur golfers. Interestingly, entry to the event was oversubscribed as more than 150 golfers expressed interest to play, a situation that forced KGU to limit eligibility to handicap six or better. The tough-playing course, characterized by fast greens and tough pin positions saw the cut fixed at a high +23 over par. At the end of the three rounds, no player managed an under par score, the best being level par 71 by Maara on the final day.
The 2021 KAGC calendar features 22 events running from January to December. The series is used to select players to Magical Kenya 2022. The final ranking is determined from points accumulated in a player’s best 10 rounds during the calendar year.
LEADERBOAR AFTER ROUND 3
1 B Ciera +9
T2 D Maara +10
T2 J Gathumbi +10
T4 A Balala +11
T4 A Irungu +11
T6 M Karanga +12
T6 N Chandaria +12
T8 J Gitonga +13
T8 E Omollo +13
T10 B Chandaria +16
T10 J Lejirma +16