Mumias-based Dismas Indiza, one of the two professionals under the sponsorship of Johnnie Walker, is back at the helm of the 2019/20 Safari Tour golf series after finishing second in the Kitante Open held at the par 72 Uganda Golf Club course at the weekend.
The long hitter Indiza, Kenya and East Africa's most popular professional golfer, carded a four rounds total of level par 288, to finish two shots off the winner Andrew Oche Odoh of Nigeria who carded two under par 286 to claim the Kitante Open title.
For his second place, Indiza earned 48 points, to bring his total in the 10 legs played so far to 395.1 points, pushing the other Johnnie Walker-sponsored pro Greg Snow of Muthaiga into third place with 376.5 points after collecting only 26.5 for tying in 15th place with 14 over par 302 gross.
Moving to second place with 381.9 points was Thika Sports Club's Simon Ngige whose eighth place finish earned him 35 points, while Royal Nairobi Golf Club's Erick Ooko remained in fourth place despite missing the cut in the inaugural Kitante Open. He completes the top four who are certainly on their way to the Magical Kenya Open at Karen Country Club from March 12.
The remaining four slots currently under the hands of Riz Charania (264.1), David Wakhu (255.6), Kopan Timbe (239.4), and John Wangai at the bottom of the top eight on 238, may be decided in the final leg of the series at Karen Country Club next week.
Two players who are just a wedge away and hoping to turn the tables at Karen, are Tony Omuli of Golf Park who won the Royal leg of the series, and the Great Rift Valley Golf Resort's Justus Madoya, a winner of the Entebbe Open. Omuli is in ninth position overall with 235.3 and Madoya is in 10th place on 233.9 points. Incidentally all these six players failed to make the second round cut on the tough playing Uganda Golf Club course.
For those fighting for the two regional slots, Zimbabwe's Robson Chinhoi picked up 45 points for a total of 214 after finishing third in Uganda over the weekend on two over par total 290 gross, thus retaining his top position, with Uganda's Philip Kasozi remaining in second place on 208.5 after earning 43 at his home course where he finished fourth with a score of three over par 291.
However, it is still a difficult task for Nigeria's Andrew Oche Odoh despite his victory at Kitante Open where the 50 points he earned could only give him a total of 160 points. He missed the Sigona leg which saw him being overtaken by Kasozi and Chinhoi, having led briefly. He will need to win the final leg at Karen and hope that both Chinhoi and Kasozi do not score well, for him to earn a place in the European Tour sanctioned Magical Kenya Open.
"I know it is not over yet though I am happy having won my first event in East Africa. I will give it my best at Karen next week," said Odoh after receiving the winner's trophy from immediate past chairman of Kenya Golf Union (KGU) who is also a director of the Kenya Open Golf Limited Lucas Maranga.