Kenya: Bumper Tannahill Shield Awaits Players Next Year

Organisers of Kenya's biggest team amateur golf competition, the annual Tannahill Shield, are planning a bumper tournament next year.

In addition to the Shield and the Mugs, the winning team in next year's tournament will also take home Sh1 million, courtesy of Jamii Telecom which also co-sponsored this year's tournament with, among others, betting company Betway.

Jamii Telecom chairman Joshua Chepkwony has said the cash token to the wining team is meant to encourage teams which are yet to win the Shield to work harder.

To encourage teams to field more junior players in their teams, Sh300,000 which is equivalent to 30 per cent of the money will go to junior players in the team, with senior players getting the remaining 70 per cent.

Speaking on Sunday during the prize-giving ceremony of this year's tournament at Royal Nairobi Golf Club where the home team claimed the Shield for the second year running, Chepkwony, himself a golfer, said he was impressed by the high number of fans the event attracted this year.

"Having been involved in this event for the past five years, I feel that we have a role to play to make the Tannahill Shield even bigger in terms of the number of fans. This is why we are introducing the cash token for a start to encourage the players do their best. This will also improve the standard of the game locally," he said.

The cash token is separate from the company's sponsorship package. This year, Jamii Telecom sponsored the tournament through its Faiba brand to the tune of Sh750,000. Betway's sponsorship was Sh1 million.

Betway Kenya Country manager Leon Kiptum said this year's tournament was extremely exciting and that his company was happy to have been involved in its sponsorship.

"Tannahill is an important event in the country and we are happy to have been involved in. I was overwhelmed by the huge number of junior golfers in most of the teams. Sports is a unifying factor and we definitely look forward to be part of the 2020 event," he said.

Royal Nairobi Golf Club chairman David Gaitho said next year, the club will introduce entertainment for golf fans as was the case at this year's Magical Kenya Open at Karen.

"We intend to have some tents at various locations on the course for entertainment for the non-golfing playing fans so that they enjoy themselves," he said. Gaitho said next year's event will have more teams than the usual nine.

"We have invited Thika Sports Club to send a team in the 2020 tournament as we move closer to our 100 years of the Tannahill Shield where we intend to make the event an international by inviting teams from outside the country," he added. He paid special tribute to the juniors who participated in this year's tournament.

A total of 17 juniors represented some of the nine teams which participated in this year's Tannahill Shield which is the highest number ever in the 95 years of the event. In fact save for Limuru Country Club, eight teams fielded juniors with Mombasa leading the way with four out of the 10 players having been juniors.

Royal coach Charan Thethy, who started playing golf as a junior and went on to become a professional, said the juniors in his team played a key role in making Royal retain the Shield.

"I must say our juniors played a vital role and definitely contributed a lot in making our team retain the Shield despite the fact that they had played in the Junior event before the main tournament," said Thethy.

The Royal junior team captured the Shield, which had been dominated by Muthaiga ever since it was introduced four years ago.

Meanwhile away from the Tannahill Shield at Royal, Ruiru Sports Club hosted the Haco Industries golf day, where lady golfer Sophie Njuguna carded an impressive 41 points made up of 21 and 20 points to claim the overall title with Ciira Kiiyukia taking the men's title with a score of 40 points, beating Ben Kanyi by one point.

In third place also with 39 points was Daniel Kamau, while Margaret Kamau won the ladies prize with a score of 40 points. Edith Ngugi finished second on 39 points and in third place was Beatrice Waweru on 37.

The nines went to Frank Munyuah and Dominic Chege on 22 points each. Machakos Golf Club's Kimanzi Muthengi was in a class of his own as he posted the day's best score of 44 points made up of 20 and 24 points to emerge the best guest.

At Nakuru, Moses Karuga playing off handicap 11, posted 21 and 22 for 43 points to win the Nakuru Governor's Cup after beating Martha Munene on countback, while Joseph Munene was third on 41 points.

Handicap two John Kamais won the gross with 33 points and Macharia Nderitu of Machakos was the best guest with 36, while Trevor Hungi was the best junior with 38 points.

The nines went to Duncan Kibue and Tevin Kihumba on 21 and 24 points, and the longest drive winners were Daniel Kiragu and Shiro Kaime, while Nancy Steinmann won the nearest to pin prize.

At Kakamega, Lady golfer Leah Luchivya won the overall prize in the Dickson Mutoka Memorial tournament with a score of 39 points, three better than H. Litali, R. Sandhu, and C. Mwelese.

The ladies prize went to P. Nyangweso who scored 35 points and the nines went to D. Munyendo and Betty Shikuku on 18 and 20 points respectively.

The late Dickson Mutoka, who passed on last year, was a former Marketing manager of Nation Media Group and Mumias Sugar company.

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