Total Golf Solutionz under the auspices of the Kenya Golf Union, BUILD and Team Kenya Long Drive put together the Kenya Long Drive Team, national qualifiers on Sunday 31st July. At this event held at the Kenya Railway Golf Club, long hitters in Kenya got the opportunity to drive not only for show but to qualify for the National Team that’ll be representing Kenya at the International Long Drive Championship in Manzanillo, Mexico.
There were 3 categories; Men (18-44yrs old), Ladies (+18) and Seniors (+45 yrs old) but the organizers accommodated younger players to hit even though they wouldn’t appear on the board. The competition followed the Drive For Show format where every competitor got 6 balls to hit and the ones that landed on the grid would be measured using a Bushnell Tour Laser Golf Rangefinder to basically eliminate guesswork and give competitors & organizers accurate readings.
The longest drive of the day belonged to 2016 Chairman’s Prize winner, James Kamenchu who peeled off a 363 yard drive edging Drive For Show II winner, Edwin Kiarie with 1 yard. Team Kenya’s Ajay Matharu currently representing Kenya in the Long Drive European Tour would however outdrive them both (in absentia) with a 398 yard drive that was adjusted to Nairobi’s altitude.
In the ladies category, Joyce Wanjiru came 2 yards short of a 300 yard drive and was followed by Kenya Long Drive Team Captain, Phera Jai who hit a 281 yard drive as Rachel Chebukati clinched the 3rd slot with a 278 yard drive.
In the seniors category, Golf Park PRO, Jacob Okello hit a 358 yard drive followed by another PRO, Dismas Indiza who hit a 351 yard drive as John Nderitu edged into the top 3 with 333 yard drive.
All the qualifiers will now undergo training with Kenya Long Drive Team Coach, Anokh Jai for 6 weeks; once a week + practice session and come Mid September, we will have the final selection event.
Here are a few photos from the event and at this point I’d like to apologize I was late to the event as I was designing congratulatory messages for Kellie Gachaga who finished 3rd in the Teen World Championship and Ajay Matharu who also finished 3rd at the Long Drive European Tour event in Hungary. They both made history as the first Kenyans to play at their respective events. Thank you for doing us proud!
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