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Mandavia wins Sigona leg of NCBA Golf Series

By Christopher Owuor
Monday, June 14th, 2021 22:08 | 4 mins read
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Edwin Otieno

Home player, Shiv Mandavia, carded an impressive round of 45 points on Saturday at the Sigona Golf Club to secure the overall win of his club’s leg of the 2021 NCBA Golf Series. 

 The handicap 32 player’s imposing performance was enough to fend off the challenge by Sagar Bhatt (24), who carded 41 points to emerge winner in the men’s category ahead of Rajesh Karia (20), who claimed the men’s runner-up spot with a total of 41 points. 

 In the ladies’ category, Esther Ngigi (20) shot an impressive round of 42 points to emerge the winner ahead of Zipporah Wachira (6), who carded 38 points to claim the runner-up spot. 

 Subsequent members’ events saw Kirti Chauhan and Palkesh Shah were crowned first nine and second nine winners, having carded 25 and 22 points respectively, while Chets Mukherjee won the nearest to the pin award for his approach at the fifth hole. 

 Zamin Nasser took the longest drive award in the men’s category for his shot off the 13th tee, with Sobhna Pattel taking the prize in the ladies’ category.  

 Meanwhile, NCBA’s Charles Omondi (22) was crowned staff winner after carding a round of 38 points. 

 The Sigona Golf Club event was the fourth leg of NCBA’s 21-event golf series.

Over 200 golfers participated in the contest which also featured a tree-planting exercise as part of the bank’s “Change the Story” initiative.

 Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Tirus Mwithiga, Retail Banking Group Director, NCBA, said the bank is looking at reorganising events disrupted by the March lockdown, adding that the series will culminate in a grand finale at the Karen Country Club later in the year.

 “We are very pleased to be back for the NCBA Golf Series. We have had three events, with this leg being the fourth.

About four events were interrupted by the second lockdown and we hope to reorganise them later,” said Mr Mwithiga. 

 “It is a series of 21 events which will culminate in the grand finale that will be held at the Karen Country Club.

So in every club that we visit, we are inviting the club members to participate, and those who play well will then have another chance to join us at Karen for the finale,” he said.

 Commenting on the bank’s junior golf development program, Mwithiga said the aim is to nurture young talent to prepare them early to challenge for top honours in the leading global golf tournaments hosted in Kenya.

 “We will also have two events for juniors: one will be at the Karen Country Club in August, and another one in December at the Muthaiga Golf Club Club.

These events will be open to all juniors nationally and not just the junior golfers in those clubs,” noted Mr Mwithiga.

 “It is part of our initiative to support the development of golf. It is a dream that one day our juniors will win the big events that are now being hosted in Kenya, and we hope that this event will go a long way in supporting that,” noted Mwithiga.

Mwithiga said the golf series will be supporting NCBA’s ‘Change the Story’ initiative by involving all golf clubs taking part in the tournament. 

 “We are proud to announce that the NCBA Golf Series is supporting the ‘Change the Story’ initiative – a programme by NCBA and like-minded partners to plant 30,000 trees across the country this year.

We will be doing this as we visit all the clubs around Kenya and all our other partners with this initiative.

We only have one planet, and I think if we take care of it, we will all enjoy these beautiful golf courses and continue to protect the environment,” added Mr Mwithiga.

 The series will now shift to the Coast for a double- header at Mombasa and Nyali Golf Clubs on the 25th and the 26th of June, respectively. 

Villa had lost their last two matches after a stunning start to the season that included a 7-2 thrashing of Liverpool a month ago.

But Dean Smith’s side did not look like a team lacking confidence as Arsenal struggled to cope with the movement of Grealish, Barkley and Watkins.

“We’re a threat with them in the team. They’re all blossoming really well but there’s more to come from them,” said Smith.

Barkley’s pass freed Matt Targett down the left and his cross was turned into his own net by Saka as he desperately tried to stop Trezeguet from applying the final touch.

Alexandre Lacazette wasted Arsenal’s best chance to get back into the game when he wastefully headed over Kieran Tierney’s cross just before half-time.

There was a further blow to the hosts at the break as £45 million ($59 million) new signing Thomas Partey had to be replaced by Ceballos due to a thigh injury.

Villa remained the bigger threat in the second-half as Leno was forced into saves by Trezeguet and Grealish.

The visitors finally killed the game off as a contest 18 minutes from time when Watkins -- who scored a hat-trick in the famous win over Liverpool -- headed home Barkley’s excellent volleyed cross.

Ceballos saved Arsenal moments later with a goal-line clearance when Grealish seemed set to get the goal his performance deserved.

A brilliant counter-attack then did give the scoreline the reflection Villa deserved as Grealish drove forward before feeding Watkins to fire past Leno.

“You’ve seen tonight and against Liverpool, we’re a great side and we can beat anyone,” said Watkins.

Christopher Owuor