Thika Golf club based Simon Ngige put up a gallant show to win the inaugural Crown Paints Professional invitational tournament held at the Muthaiga Golf Club.
Ngige was the best-placed Kenyan at the 2019 Kenya Open, coming joint 25th at five under to pocket KSh1.25million from the European Tour purse.
The win came with a trophy and a cash token of KSh150,000.
The winner had to be determined with a play-off on hole 13 that involved three players who tied on 285 gross point.
The event attracted more than 45 professional golfers.
The colourful and well contested four-day event saw Ngige, Eric Ooko (Royal Nairobi club) and Sigona-based Charles John Wangai going for the play-off to separate them.
Ooko who finished runners-up pocketed KSh110,000 while the third-placed winner received KSh75,000.
Crown paints CEO Rhakesh Rao thanked the players and Muthaiga Golf club for organizing the four days event. He said Kenya has great potential and lauded the overall winner for his superp performance.
Flanked by Charan Thethy, the Chairman of the Professional Golfers of Kenya and one of the best professional player – Elijah Kasuku, Rao said his company will continue to support golf.
“I have been impressed by our professionals. They have shown great potential and I know we can reach the standard of India where the players are mentally strong,” said Rao.
“I salute the winner but I believe each player was a winner for the effort they put in the four day’s event. You are all great golfers.”
Charan paid tribute to the sponsors and promised to make next year’s event far much better.
He said: “This was the first of its kind and we promise to come up with a better event come next year.
“Our professional players have shown they have what it takes, the tournament was tough and as you can see, the winner had to be determined after the play-off that involved three players which proves the tournament was very competitive.
“We are now looking forward to the Karen Masters event and following the success of this event, we want to make it an annual event.
“We are appealing for Co-operates and well wishers to prepare early and join us next year so that we can make it a better event.
“We are proud of Crown Paints partnership and for their worthy sponsorship. We also appreciate even their staff who found time to join us.”
The Karen Masters is set for 27 – 30 June at the Karen Golf Club and has attracted 156 players from Kenya, South Africa and a host of other countries.