BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
Royal Harare golfer Robson Chinhoi won his first event on the Safari Tour after he scooped the series’ second leg competition following a brilliant final round of five-under-par 67 at the par 72 Royal Nairobi Golf Club course in Kenya on Thursday.
The Zimbabwean shot rounds of 71, 72, 69, 67 to win the event by nine shots ahead of local boy Samuel Njoroge after carding an overall nine-under-par 279 score.
Chinhoi finished runner-up four times in the past season on the Safari Tour golf series, which was enough to qualify him for this year’s Kenya Open that was cancelled as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“My tee shots were solid, as I made all the fairways though I also missed a number of putts particularly at the first nine where I felt a bit nervous, which is normal when you are playing in the final round and with good players,” the 29-year-old golfer said, following his victory.
The golfer’s plan is to win a couple of events this season in order to qualify for the 2021 Kenya Open.
“I have not played at Vet Lab just like it was my first time here at Royal, but I will try and keep it on the fairways and see how it goes,” the Royal Harare golfer said.
The former caddy made four straight birdies at the back nine of the third round to share the lead with Njoroge on four-under-par 212, going into Thursday’s final round.
Playing in the final round with the two brothers Samuel Njoroge of Kenya Railway Golf Club and Sigona’s John Wangai, Chinhoi birdied two holes at the first nine’s second and seventh holes.
Just like in the third round, Chinhoi started his birdie-hunt with a three at the par four-10th, added three more at the 15th and 17th, and attacked the par four-18th to about two feet for his sixth birdie, to beat Njoroge by a massive nine shots.
While Chinhoi won Sh150 000 including some bonus for scoring under par in four rounds, Njoroge took home Sh70 000 for his runner-up position and 48 points in the road to the Kenya Open 2021, which gave him a total of 66,2 points in 11th position.
Round two leader Greg Snow, who is now leading the list for the Open on 168,2 points, shot a level par 72 in the final round to finish in third place on one over par 289, just a shot better than Golf Park’s Eric Ooko who posted one over par 73 in the closing round.
Chinhoi earned 50 points for a total of 89.4 points including points from the last season and is currently in seventh place.
Zimbabwe Professional Golfers’ Association president Tongoona Charamba landed Chinhoi’s success.
“It simply explains the amount of talent Zim has. We have Visitor Mapwanya who won in the DRC two weeks ago, Scott Vincent and Sean Crocker making a good run on the European Tour and Ben Follet who recently attained his Asian Tour card,” he said.
“So we have great ambassadors representing us and with enough support, financially, morally and a good local Tour, a lot more talent can be exhumed and get exposed to those Tours, which is what the new exco is working tirelessly on. We pray that we forge good partnerships with local corporates to help the cause,” he said.