Western eyes improvement at Tannahill tournament

Last year, Sigona won the title, ending the 49-year-long wait after gathering 47 points.

In Summary

•With eight players set to represent the larger Western region, a new team has been formed to replace last year’s squad in the three-day tournament, which ends on Sunday evening.

•The team is made up of John Kamais (Nakuru), Nelson Koech (Nandi Bears), Elly Barno (Nandi Bears), Kenneth Serem (Eldoret), Franklin Kipyator (Eldoret), Victor Maiyo (Kericho), Tej Bachu (Kericho) and John Kirubi (Nakuru).

Kenneth Serem (L) with Nelson Koech during last year's Nandi Bear's Shield tournament.
Kenneth Serem (L) with Nelson Koech during last year's Nandi Bear's Shield tournament.

The Western team will seek to upgrade last year’s fourth-place finish as the 99th edition of the Tannahill Shield tournament tees off tomorrow at the par 72 Royal Golf Club, Nairobi.

Western will field a changed team of eight for the three-day tournament. These are John Kamais, John Kirubi (Nakuru), Nelson Koech, Elly Barno (Nandi Bears), Kenneth Serem, Franklin Kipyator (Eldoret), Victor Maiyo, Tej Bachu (Kericho).

Defending champions, Sigona, lead the 10-club tournament alongside Mombasa, Railways, Western, Vet Lab, Limuru, Muthaiga, Royal and Karen.

Barno said they are ready to rumble at the championships in search of a maiden title for Western, whose best finish was a silver two years ago.

“We have been training well and we do understand each other on the course. That means it will be good for us to play good golf at the championships,” said Barno.

Sigona won the title last year, ending a 49-year wait after gathering 47 points.  They tied with Vet Lab in 1974 to dethrone the then-champions, Muthaiga, who finished fourth with 36 points.

During last year’s final round, Sigona defeated Karen Country Club 5-3 to amass eight points whereas Akshay Chandaria and Suny Matharu defeated Justus Njogu and Rufus Gichuki 9-8.

Sam King’ori and Ngondo Kimemia shared spoils with Liban Roba and Shahshwat Harish.  The journey for Tannahill teed off on Monday with a veterans tournament which attracted eight clubs. Muthaiga won the title for the third time in a row.

The team under the tutelage of  Ganeeve Giddie, recorded 496 gross after two rounds — 251 on Monday and 245 on Tuesday. The team has Kavit Bhakoo, Bio Ciero, Bhavnish Chandaria, Shashwat Harish, John Gtonga, Khshil Nathawani, Ben Murimi and David Ombis.

Hosts Royal were second on 518 gross after two identical rounds of 254 while Railways were third on 521 gross — 269 on Monday and 252 on Tuesday.

Former champions Karen had 530 gross for fourth, followed by Western (530), Mombasa (531), Vet Lab (532) and Sigona (534).