Greg Snow leads Kenya as Toto Thimba swings into KCB Karen Masters title

Greg Snow was the best Kenyan golfer after firing two under par 70 in the 4th and final round of the third edition of KCB Masters golf tournament came to an end today on par 72 Karen Golf and country club.

Muthaiga’s Snow settled for joint 7th position on 11 under par 277 while Sigona’s David Wakhu was the second best placed Kenyan on 6 under par 282 to finish T27.

“I’m overly excited with the result. Wrapping up my campaign in the top ten is a great achievement. I didn’t have a good game in the first few hole so had to change my game plan going into the second nine which paid off,” said Snow.

But South African Toto Thimba came from behind to edge out Portuguese Stephen Ferreira by three strokes to win the title.

Thimba, who closed the gap in the third round when they played level, all the players were 23 under going into the par5-15th but Thimba pulled through with back to back birdies on holes 15, 16 and 17 which the Portuguese parred to finish second.

The 30 three-year old Mamelodi-based Silver Lakes Country Club professional becomes the first black golfer to lay his hands on the coveted blue jacket following the four-day 72-hole stroke play.

It was a bitter pill for Ferreira to swallow after leading the tournament in the first three days. Ferreira went into the last round with a shot lead which he failed to sustain as round four action wore on.

Thimba, who also led his team to Pro-Am victory on Tuesday, was at it again with a tournament record of 26 under par 262as the Kenyan round of the Sunshine Tour came to a dramatic end.

This went down as Thimba’s first career win in the prestigious Sunshine. 

“Every time I go to play in Africa I am always treated well by the home fans. I mean, the crowd which has trailed me over the last two days made me feel like I am home. It wasn’t easy fighting with Stephen, but I made it look easy going into the last four holes. I played well but Steve was quite aggressive. I have had to contend with immense pressure over the last the days but had great attitude this week. The win will definitely open the mighty doors of opportunity in the bigger Tours,” said Toto.

Ferreira who set a course record of 10 under on the opening day was left to rue his last round of 69 which handed his opponent the title in the latter stages.

“I have had a great tournament. Shooting 23 under in four days and carding the event’s best round on Thursday is no mean achievement. I had a shaky start on the last round and lost it in the last four holes. Toto has played really well and deserves it at the end of the day,” said Ferreira.

Thimba’s win earned him Ksh. 2.4million while Snow went home with Ksh. 365,750.

Final leader-board results )

KCB Karen Masters Final leader-board

  1. 262 Toto Thimba (South Africa)- 68, 63, 66, 65 (-26)
  2. 265 Stephen Ferreira (Portugal)- 62, 66, 68, 69 (-23)
  3. 271 Keith Horne (South Africa)- 70, 69, 67, 65 (-17)
  4. 272 JC Ritchle (South Africa)- 69, 64, 69, 70 (-16)
  5. 274 Garrick Higgo (South Africa)- 67, 67, 69, 71 (-14)
  6. 275  MJ Villjoen (South Africa)- 69, 69, 67, 70 (-13)
  7. 277 Thriston Lawrence (England)- 73, 69, 68, 67 (-11)
  8. 277 Greg Snow (Kenya)- 67, 74, 66, 70 (-11)
  9. 278 Merrick Bremner 70, 68, 71, 69 (-10)
  10. 278 Estiaan Conraddle (England)- 69, 72, 67, 70 (-10)
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