Former Manchester Salver champion Simon Karari will lead other Kenyan amateur golfers at the Uganda Amateur Open championships that tees off on Wednesday morning at the par 72 Uganda Golf club.
The Thika Greens player said that he wants to redeem his image following a dismal performance at the weekend’s Nandi Open Shield, the Kenya Amateur Golf Championships (KAGC) series at the par 72 Nandi Bears golf club.
After making the cut onto the final round on Sunday, Karari finished last with +26 262 after firing 87, 77 and 97 in the three day 54 hole tournament won by Kenya Railways player John Lejirma.
“I had a very bad score at the Nandi Open Shield but I want to make amends here in Uganda. For now I am well prepared to ensure that I make it to the top unlike in the past events where my performance was wanted,” said Karari.
He will be alongside Kenyan compatriots Chrispine Owuor and George Themburu in the battle for the title.
“I have already done my training ahead of tomorrow’s (Wednesday) tournament tee off,” said Karari on Tuesday evening.
With majority of kenyan amateurs competing at the Karen Challenge this weekend in search of points ahead of Magical Kenya Open in February, will miss the annual tournament which Kenyans have also but not as much as the Ugandans who have dominated the championships since its inauguration in 1932, the pre-independence era.
“I have come here with confidence of winning the title that will propel my career in the best way,” said Karari.
The tournament is expected to be tough now that Andrew Ssekibejja will be attempting to defend his title with back-to-back victories in the event that enters its 82nd edition.
At 26, Ssekibejja fired a total of 295 over 72 holes on his course and will be up against former winner Joseph Cwinyaai and Godfrey Nsubuga, who have been playing in the Kenyan KAGC serie where Nsubuga won the Kericho meeting two weeks ago and finished 5th last weekend at the Nandi Open Shield.
A win for Karari will go into history books like other Kenyans who have won the title. Lejirma is the latest Kenyan winner when he won the 2020 title, Daniel Nduva winning the 2019 as Nicholas Rekoine ran away with 2007 victory.
Other Kenyans who have won the title are David Odhiambo in 2004, Allan Njoroge in 1989, J. Kahugu (1971), Mohammed Rajab (1969 and 1965), J.R Ogilvie in 1953 and 1949’s A.Q Roberts.
Karari, who won the Manchester title in Eldoret way back in 2021 will be teeing off at 8:30 alongside Ugandans Simon Kumbugwe, James Ategeka and Collins Matovu.
Owuor will be up against Ugandan trio of Joseph Kimani, Abdoul Rukundo and Musa Kirya while Themburu will be on the tee box with three Ugandans led by Michael Monne, Allan Muhereza and Lawrence Okwii at 10:40am.