Chinhoi stuns Indiza
Uganda Open champion Robson Chinhoi beat top local professional Dismas Indiza by one shot, to win the seventh leg in the 2021 Safari Tour pro golf series at the par 71 Nyali Golf and Country Club course yesterday.
Chinhoi from Zimbabwe who has been camping in Kenya since the on-going season started, however blamed his poor putting for not winning the tournament, his third so far in the series, with under par scores.
“I am hitting the ball pretty well so far but putting was bad and it has actually been bad since I went home after the 2019/2020 season as I stayed there without playing or practising’’ said Chinhoi who won the second leg at Royal Nairobi, then went on to claim the Uganda Open title.
He said the course was not that difficult and one can easily make some good scores if one putts well. “It’s a playable course as only a few holes which one has to be very careful.
But all in all, I am happy that my game is all set for the Magical Kenya Open though I will have to work on my putting to make sure than I am ready to go for the Open’’.
He started the day well, picking up an early birdie at the par five-first hole, but hit a bad approach at the second hole, to drop two shots there, though he managed to pick one back at the fifth.
At the back nine, Chinhoi birdied the 11th and parred all the way up to the 18th where he had a long putt for a birdie.
He missed the birdie plus a par to finish the round with a bogey and one over par 72 which gave him an all rounds total of one over par 285 to pocket Sh150,000.
It was a great day for veteran Indiza who fired a bogey-free five under par 66 on a tough day, to jump to the second place where he tied with Muthaiga’s Greg Snow on two over par 286.
He made three successive birdies on the third, fourth and fifth to carry to the back nine, a three under par score.
He played a rather conservative back nine where parred all the way to the par five-17th where he eagled the hole.
He missed the green at the 18th, but chipped well to about a foot, for an easy par and the day’s 66.
“I am now driving well after getting myself a new Callaway driver at the Nyali pro shop and I believe it made a great contribution to my final round, as I hit most of the fairways though my putting is still not very fine though I am working on it and hopefully I should be able to return a better score at Muthaiga next week’’ said Indiza.
For Snow who shot three under par 68, for 286 said his focus now is on the Magical Kenya Open.
“I obviously wish to play well at Muthaiga and probably post a better score than 13 under last season though my focus right now is on the Open next month’’ said Snow who also leads in the Safari Tour Order of Merit.
It was however a total collapse for day three leader Simon Ngige who dropped a shot after a shot to eventually finish with six over par 77 which saw drop to fourth place on five over par 289 and a pay cheque of Sh75,000 while Indiza and Snow took home Sh90,000.
On the other hand, Golf Park’s David Wakhu shot seven over par 78, to finish in fourth place on 10 over par 294.
He had started well, picking up a birdie at the first hole, but made several three-putts to bogey the third, eighth and ninth in the front nine and the 10tj, 12th, 16th and 177th holes.
“Slow play particularly on the greens just got into my head and I could not drop in even some easy putts though I was hitting the ball well off the tee’’ said Wakhu.
Action in the tour now shift to Muthaiga Golf Club for the eighth leg which starts with the Pro-Am on Saturday before the pros embark on the main event from Sunday.