Over 200 players are expected to converge on the par 72 Thika Sports Club this weekend for the fourth leg of the 2019/2020 Johnnie Walker Golf series.
The event, which follows others held at Royal Nairobi Golf Club, Karen, and Windsor Golf Hotel and Country Club, will be the last event in this year, before the series takes the Christmas and New Year break, and resumes with the fifth leg at Muthaiga on January 18.
Thika captain Nicholas Kabare said the course, which hosted the Junior Stroke play champion on Tuesday, is in a good condition despite the on-going rains, which has made other golf courses in the country waterlogged.
“I expect players to enjoy a great round of golf as we have made sure that it is not just playable, but in good condition and with the weather permitting this weekend, I expect some interesting scores,” said the captain.
Some of the home players listed to play in the event being sponsored by Kenya Breweries through the top whisky brand of Johnnie Walker, include Duncan Ndungu, David Matano, David Karuma and Martin Gachoka, all single figure handicap players.
At stake for the home players, as well as invited guests will be some fabulous prize as well as give-aways.
Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) Head of Premium Spirits, Grace Nshemeire-Gwaku said the company is excited to sponsor the series under its Johnnie Walker Brand.
“Johnnie Walker prides itself as one of the key supporters of sports; both in Kenya and overseas. Our Karting Championship and golf series positions the brand as a key stakeholder in the sports industry. Being the official Formula One whisky brand reaffirms our commitment towards sports sponsorships for donkey years. Our association with sports and indeed the Series speaks volumes about our commitment towards promotion of golf in the country,” said Nshemeire-Gwaku.
Meanwhile, during the Junior Stroke play championship at the Thika Sports Club on Tuesday, Lee Kimathi completed a three rounds total of 239 gross made up of 78, 77 and 84 to claim the overall gross title as Nduta Gicheru emerged the girls’ winner with a score of 336 gross.
The net title went to Telvin Gitau with a score of 202 nett, while winning the 16 to 21 category was Dennis Gakuo with a score four gross 262, beating John Wambari by one shot, while Ngondo Kimemia of Sigona won the 14 to 15 years, followed by Mathew Kigen on 271 gross.
In the 13 years and under category, Mukundi Muthusi posted 268 gross to win ahead of Alex Kamande on 302 gross.
Europe beckons for South African rugby after Kiwi snub
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Jul 20 – World Cup-winning Springbok Schalk Brits believes the future of South African rugby lies in Europe after New Zealand said there was no room for sides from the republic in Super Rugby.
“All of this jet lag and flying across different time zones just does not work,” said the hooker who retired after the triumphant 2019 World Cup campaign.
“We have got so many South Africans playing in Europe and it would be awesome to see them in action here for European clubs.”
With New Zealand favouring a trans-Tasman Super Rugby competition, South Africa Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux will address the media Tuesday about the way forward.
There has been no rugby in South Africa since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic, which claimed 5,033 lives by late Sunday, the most in an African country.
Here, AFP Sport looks at the possibilities for the world champions Springboks and Super Rugby teams the Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers.
There has been speculation that the six-round annual tournament will be cut to four matches with New Zealand and Australia playing in South Africa only every second year.
That would be a huge blow for SA Rugby coffers as the century-old rivalry with the All Blacks makes them a huge drawcard.
South Africa might consider abandoning the Championship and pursuing a suggestion by former All Blacks Justin Marshall and Jeff Wilson for three-Test tours between the great rivals.
“British and Irish Lions tours are so successful because we look forward to them,” noted another ex-All Black, John Kirwan. The same could be said of an All Blacks-Springboks series.
Should South African franchises move north, would the Springboks follow suit and apply to join England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales in a ‘Seven Nations’ championship?
Having the world champions on board would surely excite the organisers and costs would be greatly reduced if the Springboks played their three away matches on consecutive weekends.
England, Ireland, France and Wales, in particular, would bring freshness for rugby followers, who have not rushed to the turnstiles for Championship visits by Australia and Argentina.
Ask the SA Rugby treasurer for his ‘dream’ line-up and he would surely say a multi-Test tour by the All Blacks and participation in the ‘Seven Nations’.
Although not official yet, the reality is that New Zealand want to play some Australian sides and the Pacific Islands in a new competition while excluding South Africa and Argentina.
The original version, a Super 10 between 1993 and 1995, was a superb competition, but constant tinkering and expansion has led to waning interest in a difficult-to-follow event.
Even those supporting the Golden Lions of South Africa could not have derived too much satisfaction from a 94-7 thrashing of Japanese visitors the Sunwolves three years ago.
South Africa sides often battled with time differences in Australasia — New Zealand is 11 hours ahead of the republic — and were weary after four-match tours.
Pro14 chief executive Martin Anayi says he would welcome Super Rugby ‘rejects’ the Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers into an expanded edition.
“The tournament works well but could be even better if we added some South African teams,” he said, referring to a competition that also includes Irish, Italian, Scottish and Welsh teams.
But there may be no room for the two current South African Pro14 participants, the Cheetahs and Kings, who have experienced very different fortunes.
While the Cheetahs have been competitive, the Kings won just four of 55 matches in three seasons with some of the losing margins embarrassing.
The domestic competition has survived constant format changes to remain the vital ‘nursery’ from which Springboks emerge.
First staged in 1892, it was the bedrock of South African rugby until the dawn of professionalism after the 1995 Rugby World Cup.
As Test and Super Rugby fixtures took up an increasing amount of the season, the Currie Cup often battled for calendar space.
But it survived and this year could feature the four Super Rugby sides plus the Cheetahs, Kings, Griquas and Pumas, if play is possible amid the coronavirus.
Kenya records highest number of deaths from Covid-19
Kenya’s coronavirus cases rise to 13,771 after 418 more infections
Kenya on Monday reported 418 more Covid-19 infections, raising the country’s tally to 13,771 since the virus was first confirmed on March 13.
Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Rashid Aman also reported four more deaths, raising the toll to 238. He rectified an earlier report about 19 deaths in a single day, which would have been the highest number ever recorded in Kenya.
The 418 new patients were found following the testing of 2,474 samples in the last 24 hours.
Four hundred and eight of them were Kenyans and 10 foreigners while male patients numbered 263 and female patients 155.
Dr Aman also announced that 494 patients had been discharged, raising the country’s total number of recoveries to 5,616.
Of the recovered patients, 465 were under home care and the rest in hospitals.
More to follow