Nyanza Club golfer Alice Otieno Awiti carded 49 stable ford points to emerge victorious in today’s 6th leg of Safaricom Golf Tour series at the nine hole Eldoret golf club.
After missing to win at her home club a month, Awiti traveled to Eldoret with a mission that was achieved to qualify for the grand finale that will be held at the Vipingo Ridge golf club.
After starting off with a scratch in hole one par 5, she went on to win the title in a tournament that attracted 141 golfers drawn from various clubs across the country.
She said that she did not expect to win after the bad start on the course.
“I did not know that I would emerge the winner in this tournament after I scratched the first tee, not just that but three of them but I recovered well, maintained my consistency with the rest of the holes doing five pars and a number of birdies for the title,” she said.
Playing off handicap 54, she admitted that having the high handicap played a critical role against her opponents.
“I was advantaged because my handicap is a bit higher. When I play well I get more points than the rest of the golfers who are rated less,” she said, adding that coming from Kisumu and winning in Eldoret it was a personal initiative after missing to make the cut in Nyanza where she got a different experience like meeting new people.
Playing for the first time in the Eldoret course, Awiti said that it was a whole different environment which was advantageous.
“In Nyanza I gathered 18 points but I have been practicing, and playing a lot. Coming here I was well prepared by practicing every morning, with 18 holes on the weekends and nine holes on weekdays to keep my temple well and be consistent with my course,” she said.
Awiti becomes the second lady to qualify for the grand finale after Nandi Bear’s golfer Lydia Jebichii had won the second leg title in Nyanza last month.
“It is excited for the grand finale and going to Vipingo is like a dream come true. I have been dreaming of it and that is why I have been going to clubs to train in the morning. And by the time we go to the finals, my handicap would be lower, hoping to win,” she said.
Former Eldoret captain Anand Lakhani and Fatma Some were men and women winners after carding 43 and 44 points respectively.
Lakhani beat Ken Koge to second on 41 points while Some edged out former lady captain Catherine Gatua to second with 41 points.
In other awards, Nandi Bear’s Faith Chumtai won the longest drive on hole number one with Eldoret’s Peter Maritim claiming the men’s title while Michael Kotut was the nearest to the pin prize winner.
With 21 points, Miriam Wanjiku was the first nine winner and Ben Siro claiming second nine on 23 points. Rispa Barasa calimed the staff prize as Guest prize went to George Olango from Machakos club and Caroline Koech was the best effort winner with 16 points.