Fast-rising Nathaani tops final leg of Nation Circuit

An excellent opening nine score saw youngster Ishaan Nathaani beat 73 other golfers, to claim the overall title in the final leg of Nation Golf Circuit at par-71 Eldoret Golf Club at the weekend.

Playing off handicap 25 which was later chopped to 22, Nathaani made a double bogey at the par three-second hole, but parred three holes for an impressive 22 points.

The-15-year old Nathaani dropped three shots at the par four-10th, but picked up two pars there after for 20 and the day’s total of 42 to win his first tournament since he got his handicap a month ago.

“I’m still in shock, I knew I had a chance to play well but posting such a score is amazing,’’ said Nathaani. He thanked his parents for allowing him to start playing golf. Nathaani also thanked Eldoret club chairman Andrew Chelogoi, captain Moses Tanui, greenkeeper Kamal Manek and his coach Boniface Simwa for helping him improve his game.

He said the course had improved a great deal, thanks to Manek.

“These gentlemen saw potential in me and have encouraged me to put some extra effort in my game. I want to play more events and practice a lot more since we are just about to close school for holidays,’’ Nathaani added, after receiving his trophy from Ainabukoi MP William Chirchir Chepkut, himself a close supporter of the Nation Circuit.

The youngster won by five points from second-placed Amos Butit who posted 37 points after beating Dr John Kibosia on countback.

In the ladies category, Nilam Shah carded 35 points to clinch the prize as another top junior at Eldoret, Rishab Sagoo, won the junior title after posting 33 points.

The staff prize went to George Kihuria of Nation Media Group’s Finance department. He carded 27 points playing for the first time at Eldoret.

Njoro Country Club’s Dominic Walubengo won the guest prize with 31 points as veteran golfer Natu Lakhani emerged the best senior with 33 points.

Danny Kiptoo and Fred Kibor won the nines on 22 and 23 points. This year, the Nation Golf Circuit series took place in Kakamega, Nanyuki, and Nyali in Mombasa.

The fourth leg in Nakuru was cancelled due to repeat presidential elections. On Friday, NMG staff from Nairobi and Eldoret donated text books worth Sh200,000 to Sunrise Children’s Home in Kabarnet, Baringo County.

By Larry Ngala