Kiambu Golf Club's Michael Karanga becomes the first amateur to lead the hunt for points towards the Kenya Amateur Golf Championship (KAGC) series, the World Amateur Ranking, as well as a slot in the 2022 Magical Kenya Open.
This follows his two shots victory in the Sigona Bowl golf tournament at Sigona Golf Club at the weekend.
Karanga, a grandson of a Kiambu veteran professional Michael Karanga Mwaura, fired a 54-hole total of 226 gross to win the 62nd edition of the Sigona Bowl, which this time found a new sponsor in Turf Machinery and Irrigation, a company that is usual associated with golf course irrigation system.
Over the past two or so decades, the Sigona Bowl, usually the season opener in the KAGC series, formerly the Golfer of The Year series, had been sponsored by Kibo Sports.
Karanga, one of the amateurs who has also been participating in the Safari Tour pro series, said he intends to play a number of the KAGC events this year.
"I did not start well this weekend, but I managed to recover in the last two rounds and I am very happy to have won the event at the end," said Karanga, now At Sigona Golf Club.
He had started with seven over par 79, which left him five shots behind round one leader Jay Sandhu of Royal.
However, he shot one under par 71 in the second round and finished with two over par 74 for a total of 224, to beat former Kenya Amateur Match play champion Paul Muchangi of Limuru by two shots.
This victory earned Karanga a total of 84 points, while Muchangi, who posted 76, 73 and 77 for a total of 226, was awarded 48 points, and Nyali Golf and Country Club's Adel Balala, who also carded 77 in the final round for the third place on 228 points, earned 32 points towards the KAGC points series.
Balala was just a shot better than round one leader Jay Sandhu, who is also the Kenya Amateur Stroke play.
Sandhu collected 24 points for his fourth place finish, while Kenya Railway Golf Club's John Lejirmah and Sigona's Ronal Malde, who tied for the fifth 232 gross, managed to get 17.6 points each.
This year the tournament attracted a field of 96 players playing off handicap six and below.
From Sigona, the next stop-over in the 2021 series will be Nyeri Golf Club for the Mt Kenya Championship over the weekend of February 6 and 7.