• Kenya amateur strokeplay champ.Opati, wins Tanzania Open

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Nov 08, 2011-

Kenya’s preparation for the East Africa Golf Challenge Trophy that starts on Wednesday November 9, at the 72-par Arusha Gymkhana in Tanzania went into top gear as Golf Park’s David Opati, crowned last week the Kenya amateur strokeplay champion in Thika won the Tanzania Open by a comfortable margin of four shots, 283 (5-under par).

Opati, who trailed the local favourite Nuru Mollel after the first round by two shots, 2-under par 70, tied level after round two with a 4-under par, 68.

He then ensured his win on the third day of the competition with a solid level par round, 72 as Mollel collapsed and signed for a 8-over par (80).

Opati, who was six shots ahead going into the final round just had to play to win, and his one-over 73 was good enough to take the title.

Tanzania national player John Leonce of Tanzania was runner-up on one-under par 287 (74,69,73,71) with Nuru Mollel third on 291 (68,70,80,73). The national team travelled to Arusha last week to play in the 72-hole strokeplay championships, ahead of the annual regional golf prize event that has eluded Kenya for the past two years.

Kenya was the only other team besides the hosts to take part in the Tanzania Open and the Kenya Golf union is commended for making this decision. Some of the Kenya team members are playing the Arusha course for the first time.

Kenyan players took the next five places, with junior international, Abraham Abdullahi based at Green Park Naivasha improving each round. He tied 6th with Joseph W Karanja on 296.

Earlier in the week, the R&A confirmed that the Tanzania Open would be a World Amateur Golf Ranking event ensuring that the Kenyans, already ranked, would enjoy additional points by their participation.

The East Africa Challenge between five countries – Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania – is a Ryder Cup format matchplay event with rounds of singles, foursomes and four-ball better-ball.

Although, Matchplay is a vastly different game, the Tanzania Open has prepared the Kenya national golf team for local conditions, including the tricky Arusha greens.

Kenyan scores (Par 288)

David Opati

70

68

72

73

283

Francis Kimani

72

78

70

75

295

James M. Karanja

82

70

72

72

296

Abraham Abdallahi

80

70

75

72

297

Joseph W. Karanja

76

76

73

72

297

Robinson Owiti

73

73

73

80

299

Frank Matilo

79

78

76

74

307

Mathew Omondi

75

81

80

75

311

Justus Madoya

82

80

73

80

315

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