Kenya team captain Dennis Maara is optimistic that Kenya will retain the Victoria Cup title when the tournament tees off this Thursday at the Kampala golf club in Kampala, Uganda.
The Kenya Golf Union (KAGC) named the team last week with all players coming from the Kenya Amateur Golf Championships (KAGC) series. The players are captain Dennis Maara (Limuru), Michael Karanga 9Kiambu), Adel Balala (Nyali), Danny Chelogoi (Eldoret), Ebill Omollo and Krish Beiju (Vetlab), Elvis Muigua (Kiambu), John Lejirma (Kenya Railways), Josphat Rono (Golf park) and Sammy Mulama (Mombasa).
The Limuru based player said that with the players in the team, it will be a prove that Kenya is doing well in golf now that the ten players have equal chances to shine at the three day tournament that tees off on Thursday to Saturday.
Maara said that it has been long since they were on the international assignments but they are equal to the task of delivering good results to the country.
Kenya, which won the title in 2022, held at the Limuru golf club, resumes this year after Tanzania failed to host the event in 2023.
“We knew the event was coming and we started preparing well and the team was confident. We shall be happy to retain the title, but we have to be wary of Uganda, who are playing at home,” said Maara.
With new players joining the team, he said that they are the best and have the potential to prove their mantle on the course.
“We are excited to have new players like Josphat Rono (Golf Park), Danny Chelogoi (Eldoret) , Krish Beiju (Vetlab) who will be the new spice in the future. Rono has been active in KAGC. He was always there trying to fight for a top place in the series. We know his game and it is time that he got this call up, which is good for the future to call up other players. It doesn’t matter how long it takes but once you start performing, you are called in the Kenya team. Chelogoi who is based in South Africa, rarely has play time in the KAGC but KGU considered him. He is a solid player and his father (Andrew Chelogoi) being a pro, this is his time to be exposed in the Kenya team.
“For Krish being a junior, it is a good step for him and last year we had the Muigua (Elvis) and he has things turning out for him and we hope the best from him and understand the pressure and how this hostile Ugandan environment is,” he said.
With experienced players, the Captain reiterated it is a good thing because they all play together in the series together.
“It is not that we are bringing a player in a new environment. We all know each other, blend very well to make the team strong. It will not be hard for the juniors to blend and it is upon us seniors to support the juniors to feel comfortable, answer all their questions, once in pressure, we are all in it and when we win and lose we do it together and that makes this team,” he said.
The tournament shall be played in foursomes’ match play and the four ball better ball on the last day, they will play singles.
“Each game is worth a point and a draw is a half a point with zero points for a loss. We have a target of 14 and half points. Whoever gets to that will automatically win,” he said.