I don’t have a bag of tricks, says golfer Robinson Owiti
Vetlab Golf Club’s professional golfer Robinson Owiti says he will exploit all avenues to push for his reinstatement following his disqualification from the first leg of the Safari Tour that concluded on Wednesday at the Limuru Golf Club.
After playing four rounds of golf to finish fourth behind Greg Snow, Samuel Njoroge and Riz Charania, a fellow golfer complained about Owiti allegedly using non-conforming clubs which led to his disqualification by the tournament organisres.
“We began this championship on Sunday and up until the final round was played on Wednesday, no one had raised an issue with my equipment.
When the issue was raised, just minutes to the prize giving ceremony, I had my equipment inspected and the club in question was neither on the conforming or non-conforming list.
The organisers then reached the decision to disqualify me,” explained Owiti.
He added: “I reached out to the local distributor who in turn got in touch with the manufacturer in Scotland and I am awaiting a response from them.
I feel that the decision to disqualify me was rushed. If the response from the manufacturer confirms that it was okay for me to use the club, I will request for reinstatement on the Leader Board.
Otherwise, I am ready to use legal processes to have the series in its totality disqualified.
This inspection would have been done on all participants before tee off on Sunday.”
The golfer lost 44 points in the race for next year’s Magical Kenya Open and Sh 52,500 in prize money.
Leg winner Snow bagged Sh 105,000 while second and third place carried home Sh63,000 each.
On his part tournament director Vincent Wang’ombe has disputed Owiti's claim that it was just one of his clubs that was non-confoming saying their inspection of his clubs found two clubs, including one of his wedges that were not on the R&A list of conforming clubs.
“Local rules, G2, that was in effect during this competition dictate that golfers use clubs in the R&A list.
The penalty for going against that rule is disqualification hence the decision.
olf is a self regulating sport and he ought to have checked that his equipment conformed to the set rules before tee off. The decision stands,” said Wang’ombe.
He continued: “He is doing the follow up with the manufacturer all by himself but i do not think that will change anything.
The list of R&A approved equipment is available online to everyone. These are not new clubs that he was using but have been around for quite some time, probably manufactured 10 years ago.
I doubt the manufacturer will be looking at having them included in the R&A list.”