Home player Wakwabubi wins Nation Classic first leg in Kakamega

Home player Kelvin Wakwabubi produced an amazing 45 points, to beat a field of 110 players that included 17 players from various clubs in neighbouring Uganda, to clinch the overall title during the first leg of the 2024 Nation Classic golf series at the par 72 Kakamega Sports Club course on Saturday.

Playing off handicap 30, Wakwabubi who started playing golf two years ago, picked up a number of pars at the front nine for 23 points, before posting 22 points at the back nine, for a total of 45 points to book a place in the Nation Classic grand finale to be held at Ruiru Sports Club on November 23.

“It’s a great feeling winning the Nation Classic tournament and beat all these golfers from various places who participated in the event. This is my first time that I am giving a winning speech since I started playing golf two years ago,’’ said Wakwabubi who mentioned that he has on several occasions finished in the prize list of several events, but not in the overall position.

“I must thank the Nation Media Group for bringing the Nation Classic series to Kakamega,’’ added Wakwabubi who won well ahead of First Division winner and runners up Cedric Konzolo and Dr Julius Oketch who both carded 37 points each.

Taking the Second Division with a score of 38 points was Andrew Maleche who beat Nandi Bears Club’s Wilson Chepkwony by two points. Lady golfer Linda Selestin from Nyanza Golf Club in Kisumu carded 43 points to claim the Third Division title, followed in second place by Joel Muhanji of Kakamega in second place with 41 points.

Ugandan Philip Okanya from Mbale Golf Club carded 33 points to emerge the best guest with Nation Media Group Chairman Dr Wilfred Kiboro taking the staff prize with a score of 32 points while the junior prize went to Mike Govoga who carded 17 points.

Speaking during the prize-giving ceremony of the event where NMG partnered with the County Government of Kakamega, Hamptons Hospital, and Kenya Airways, Kakamega County Deputy Governor Ayub Savula thanked the Nation Media Group for having chosen Kakamega as the first venue of this year’s Nation Classic Golf series.

“We are most grateful to the Nation Media Group for not only for bringing the Nation Classic golf series to Kakamega, but also having for having participated in the International Conference which has just ended here in Kakamega. I sincerely hope that this cooperation will continue for many years to come,’’ said Savula who said the county has a plan to invest in the Kakamega Hotel and asked Kakamega Sports Club to get involved.

Nation Media Group Chairman Dr Wilfred Kiboro paid great tribute to Kakamega Sports Club for maintaining and keeping the course in an excellent condition.

“We are humbled by the great hospitality we have received, and we hope to come back next year to see the progress the club will have made,’’ said Kiboro.

He thanked the Ugandan players who travelled all the way from various clubs in Uganda to participate in the event thus giving it an international status.

Earlier, NMG’s Chief Commercial Officer Kenneth Oyolla had also paid great tribute to the officials of Kakamega Sports Club for organising the event well, and inviting the Ugandan golfers to come and participate.

Earlier during the day, Kiboro had led a number of Kakamega Sports Club and NMG senior managers in planting trees on the golf course where he thanked the club for taking up the initiative.

“This course looks great and completely different from the last time I was here more than 25 years ago,’’ said Kiboro.

On Friday, Kiboro led a team of NMG staff from Nairobi and Kisumu to Shikondi Primary School in Ikolomani Constituency in Kakamega County where they presented text books to the school as part of the company’s Social Sustainability Initiative.

By Larry Ngala