East Africa's best amateur golfers are in the coastal city of Mombasa this weekend for this year's Nyali Open Golf Championship, a World Amateur Ranking event.
The championship is the climax of the 2018 Kenya Amateur Golf Championship(KAGC) series formerly Golfer Of The Year (GOTY).
The KAGC series kicks off with the Sigona Bowl at the Sigona Golf Club and winds up at the scenic Nyali Golf Club. Kenya Golf Union awards the country's top amateur golfer at the Nyali Open.
Just like last year, the 54-hole Stroke Play Nyali Open is sponsored by Grain Bulk Handlers, AAR HealthCare, and Shikara Limited courtesy of club member Alice Wahome who is also the Junior Golf Foundation Coast region representative.
A field of 84 players including Tanzania's top amateur Victor Joseph and Adam Abbas, Uganda's Joel Basalaine and Joseph Chinywai will take part in the event. Leading the Kenyan challenge again this year is defending champion Daniel Nduva, a member of Nyali Golf Club, currently in a golf school in South Africa.
During last year's Nyali Open, Nduva, a son of veteran Nyali golfer Patrick Nduva Munyao, posted rounds of 73, 71, and 75 for a total of 219 to beat Tanzania's Victor Joseph and another Nyali and South Africa based golfer Mathew Wahome by five shots.
Two months before that Nduva had again beaten the Tanzanian Joseph by four shots to claim the Kenya Amateur Stroke Play championship title staged at Nyali, a victory which saw Nduva qualify to play in this year's Kenya Open at Muthaiga earlier in the year.
This year, the 21 Nduva has so far played only four KAGC events namely the Sigona Bowl, Windsor Classic, Kenya Amateur Match Play Championship and the Uhuru Shield at Royal early this month. He was beaten in a sudden death play in the Sigona Bowl by Limuru's John Karichu, then finished third in Windsor Classic.
He however won the Match Play Championship to book his ticket for the 2019 Kenya Open at Karen. He did not defend the Amateur Stroke play title but came the Uhuru Shield which he won after beating the Great Rift Valley Resort's Simon Njogu.
He has been in great form this year and being at his home course where he started golf as a junior, Nduva is definitely the man to beat this weekend, with the Tanzanian Joseph, Uganda's Basalaine, Limuru's John Karichu, Simon Njogu, Mathew Wahome, Edwin Mudanyi, Samuel Njoroge, and George Felix once again expected to offer a strong challenge.
Karichu is currently leading in the KAGC series having displaced Samuel Njoroge after the Uhuru Shield, and he needs a win or even a second place at Nyali this weekend, to re-claim Kenya's most prestigious amateur golf title.
The event is open to golfers playing off handicap 14 and under which has given a number of local coast golfers a chance to play along with elite golfers. One of the locals will be the 12 year old Andrew Wahome playing off handicap 13. Wahome, a young brother of Mathew Wahome, will be the youngest player in the tournament this year.
Teeing off for Saturday's opening round is set for 7am on both first and 10th tees, followed by the second round from noon while the final round will be played on Sunday morning.