The Star (Nairobi)

18 December 2012

Kenya: Opati Shines

Following sizzling play at the par 71 Nyali Golf and Country Club Sunday, newly-crowned champion in the Keringet-sponsored Golfer of the Year (GOTY) series David Opati now has his Kenya Open Championship ticket secured.

The Kenya Open will be held at the Karen Golf and Country Club from on February 13-17 next year. Opati wrapped up the successful season upon bagging 114.40 points ahead of Vet Lab's Nelson Simwa who ended his 2012 Goty campaign in second place after garnering 79.75 points.

Opati, who finished runners-up at last year's Goty, is currently the skipper of the national golf team. The Kenya Golf Union's Goty trophy is won by the player who scores the highest points during the 18-leg series which starts with Sigona Bowl in January and culminates with Nyali Open in mid December.

On Sunday, the Golf Park man shot a three round total of one over par 214 gross to emerge the victor in the season-closing 2012 Nyali Open.

And asked what it really felt to finish the Coast proceedings in style, Opati said: "I have no words to express my joy today (Sunday)." He was overjoyed with what he described as a great season of golf--which saw him win this year's Diani Beach Masters, the Coast Open and now the Nyali Open.

Nyali's International junior and national team member Daniel Nduva also impressed with occasional flashes of brilliance. Playing off handicap three, Nduva was the gross runners-up on a total of 221 (72-71-78).

E.Ooko was third on a score of 224 gross. Opati has played consistent golf throughout the year and he only missed out points on two events--Mt. Kenya Championship in Nyeri and Matchplay Championship at Windsor.

The 29-year-old Opati commonly known as 'Par Three' in golfing circles because of his height, began his golfing career in 2006 and he is currently playing off handicap three.

During the prize giving ceremony held at Nyali, the KGU chairman, Alfred Kariuki, congratulated the winners and thanked Keringet for sponsoring the events.

He also applauded all golfers who have been part of the Goty events and reiterated the commitment of the Union in developing the game through junior golf development.

He said the union will be adopting a new system of awarding points in order to motivate players to participate in large numbers during Goty series. The 2013 Goty season starts with Sigona Bowl on January 18-19.

On Saturday morning, Opati played his heart out, posting a round of one under par 70 gross but wrapped up the day's action on one over par 72 gross before ending Sunday's play by a similar score. Opati's participation in the Coast tour was a mere formality as he already had the Goty diadem in the bag during the penultimate Uhuru Shield at Royal Nairobi earlier in the year. But winning the season ending event with a 214 gross score was a quite satisfactory way for Opati to wrap up the 2012 season.

Nyali Open Result (Gross Scores):

OVERALL POSITION

1. David Opati (70-72-72) 214

2. Daniel N. Nduva (72-71-78) 221

3. Tony Omuli (75-77-74) 226

4. Abraham Abdulahi (78-73-76) 227

5. Francis Kimani (74-73-80) 227

6. Alan Dainty (76-76-76) 228

7. N. Simwa (79-76-77) 232

8. Robinson Owiti (82-78-76) 236

9. Jeremy Wahome (77-79-80) 236

10. J Madoya (84-79-74) 237

11 Matthew Omondi (81-80-76) 237

12. Amos Kamau (81-76-80) 237

13 Karan Inamdar(79-77-81) 237

14 John Mburu (Jr) (80-76-82) 238

15 Sammy Mulama (83-74-82) 239

16 W. Odera (81-82-76) 239

17 Gurbux Singh (75-86-79) 240

18 Matthew Wahome (80-81-82) 243

19 Said Hamada (84-83-77) 244

20 Jonathan Chebukati (81-80-83) 244

TOP 10 FINAL GOTY STANDINGS

1-David Opati (Golf Park) 114.10

2-Nelson Simwa (Vet) 79.75

3-Tony Omuli (Golf Park) 62.10

4-Mathews Omondi(Vet) 60.50

5-Joseph.W.Karanja(Golf Park) 57.60

6-Wangai.C.J.(Railways) 54.00

7-Anthony Kinuthia 39.50

8-Justus Madoya (Great Rift) 35.50

9-Francis Kimani (Limuru) 28.75

10-Jay Sandhu (Royal) 26.75

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