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Snow stands up to be counted in Safari Tour

Greg Snow
Muthaiga Golf Club’s Greg Snow poses with the Safari Tour Trophy on Wednesday. With this victory in Nyali, Snow has announced his intention to solidify his name as the top Kenyan golf professional. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

This past census week, the Nyali Golf and Country Club played host to the first leg of the 2019/20 Safari Tour season and it was a tournament of many firsts.

For starters, Bhavi Shah became the first lady Pro golfer to compete in the tour and whilst she did not make the cut to play beyond the first round, her presence in the competition was ground breaking.

Shah played off the men's white tees, placed just a few metres in front of the men's professional tees, and whilst she found the going tough, she proved that lady pros can indeed enter and compete with the men.

"The golf course was long from the men's tees but it was an invaluable experience for me and I trust that my presence on the Safari Tour will inspire young girls in golf to do better," Shah said.

"My performance was not up to the standard I would have liked but it was a good experience to play alongside my male counterparts."

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Secondly, 13-year old Andrew Wahome become the youngest competitor in the Tour. The Nyali junior golfer, a 5-handicap golfer, showed great maturity playing alongside seasoned professionals. He returned scores of 84 and 75 playing off the Pro tees.

"Playing off the back tees is a new experience for me, but overall it was a great privilege to play alongside the best golf professionals from across East Africa and I have learnt a lot," Wahome said.

"In the second round, I played in the company of Simon Ngige and Sullivan Muthugia and it was a most humbling, all the pros treated me very well."

Andrew's older brother, Matthew Wahome made his professional debut at the same event and finished T16 with a score of 303 (19 over par over four rounds). Matthew did not break 70 through the four rounds and he will now have a lot of reflecting to do as he begins life as a Professional golfer.

Eventually it was Muthaiga's Greg Snow who finished on top with scores of 74, 72, 68 and 73 for a total of 287, a 3-over par total over the four rounds. Snow dominated the first season of the Safari Tour, winning at Vet Lab, Thika Greens and Muthaiga Golf Club.

He also finished as the top pro at Limuru in an event that was historically won by amateur golfer Michael Karanga. With this victory in Nyali, Snow has announced his intention to solidify his name as the top Kenyan golf professional - the only blemish on that being the missed cut at the Magical Kenya Open.

"Playing in the first season of the Safari Tour was exactly what the Kenyan golf professionals needed! We played six events in preparation for the Magical Kenya Open 2018 and although I didnt particularly play well, we have improved our skills under challenging tournament conditions," Snow said.

"This second season of the Safari Tour will enable us to continue building on the experiences from 2018 and into 2019 and through to 2020 and I can assure you that you will see more and more Kenyan professionals playing better at the Kenya Open, the Uganda Open and the Karen Masters."

Nyali's resident golf professional, Njuguna Ngugi finished second with a gross score of 291, just four strokes shy of Snow. His third round score of 5-under par 66 was the best score of the tournament.

Another Nyali based golfer, Daniel Nduva finished tied in fourth place with a score of 293; Nduva, arguably Kenya's top amateur golfer, proved once more that he was indeed equal to the professionals.

A total of 46 pros and elite amateur golfers, including lady Pro Bhavi Shah, competed at Nyali. The Safari Tour now heads to the Lake Victoria Serena Resort for the Uganda Open from the September 11-14, 2019.

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