Home player Julius Omollo produced a brilliant round of 40 Stableford points to claim the top prize during the first leg of this year's Nation Classic Golf series at the par 70 Nyanza Golf Club course at the weekend.
Playing off handicap 12, the left-hander Omollo made a strong start, picking up four straight pars at the opening nine.
He dropped two shots at the par three-fourth and par five-fifth after missing the greens on regulation. Dropped one more shot at the par three-eighth, but holed in a birdie putt at the ninth for an impressive 22 points.
However, with the heat picking up in addition to the hard greens, Omollo bogeyed the two par fives 10th and 14th added more bogeys on the 12th and 13th and the last two holes at the back nine for 18 points.
"The greens became harder and tricky at the back nine and after the hot sun though I am so excited emerging the overall winner. It's a humbling experience winning this.
I have been putting a lot of effort on my game and I am so glad it has started paying off'," said Omollo, who will now lead Nyanza in the 2019 Nation Classic grand finale at Limuru Country Club later this year.
"I will continue practicing to make sure that I represent the Nyanza/Western region well in the grand finale."
He will be accompanied by Thakrar Bhayani and the lady winner, while the Club chairman and captain will be invited to play as special guests of the Nation Media Group during the finale.
"I must thank the Nation and Grand Royal Swiss Hotel for supporting Nyanza Golf Club," added Omollo.
Besides winning a beautiful golf bag, Omollo also won two nights for two on full board basis at the magnificent Grand Royal Swiss Hotel, which partnered with the Nation Media Group in the event that attracted a field of 91 players drawn from Nyanza, Kakamega, Kisii, Kericho, and Mumias clubs.
Finishing second with a score of 38 and after a countback with Raju Bhayani, was Prashant Thakrar, while Beatrice Bisonga carded 37 points to clinch the ladies prize.
Emerging the best among the guests was Nyali Golf and Country Club's Charles Odoo, who carded 39 points in a round that included a number of pars.
"I am so happy to win the guest prize for the second year running. It is also great winning a prize in a Nation event. I had a chance of winning with even a higher score if I did not pick up a number of double and single bogeys," said Odoo, who thanked the Nation Media for always inviting him to play in the series.
Also winning the staff prize for the second year running, was "Yours Truly", though this time with 31 points, while the nines went to Maurice Oduor and Kakamega's Eliud Siganga who carded 22 and 20 points respectively.
Speaking during the prize giving ceremony, which was followed by a dinner hosted by the Nation, Nation Broadcasting Division Managing Director, Alex Kobia, said the company was excited kicking off the 2019 Nation Classic series edition in Kisumu.
"The Nation Classic golf series, which has been in existence for the last 34 years, has a rich heritage and continually gives us an opportunity to interact with you our clients and readers in the different parts of the country and appreciate the key role you play in our business," said Kobia.
The Grand Royal Swiss Hotel's General Manager, Shanawaz Basheer, said the hotel was proud to partner with the Nation Media and promised to continue with the partnership.
Besides donating a special prize to the overall winner, Grand Royal Swiss also offered complimentary accommodation to staff of the Nation Media group as part of its partnership.
The next event in the series will take place at Nanyuki Sports Club on May 18.