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Wangai calls for build up tourneys before Kenya Open golf

By Lynette Matheka
Wednesday, August 5th, 2020
Local profesiional golfer CJ Wangai lines his putt at a past Kenya Open Golf Championships event. Photo/PD/WEBSTER NYANDIKA
In summary

Sigona Golf Club resident professional captain John (CJ) Wangai is hoping local golfers qualified for the rescheduled 2020 Kenya Open will get a chance to play in several tournaments before the European Challenge Tour event slated for November 12 to 15 at Karen Country Club.

The tournament was earlier set to be played on March 12 to 15 at the par 72 Karen Club but was suspended due to the outbreak of Covid-19.

Wangai says there are tentative plans to begin the 2021 Safari Tour series, the qualifying tournament for the Open, at the end of August.

If the plan materialises, it would help the nine local golfers and six amateurs who will represent the country prepare better.

“In March, we had just concluded the Safari Tour and were in competition mode.

We also had access to the course for some final preparation then the event was cancelled.

I have been practicing at my home course but that alone is not enough. 

The chance to play a few 

tournaments before November will be great as it will get us back in competition shape,” said Wangai who is looking to make a cut for the first time.

The golfer took a month-long break after the pandemic forced the cancelation of all local sporting events in March, before returning to Sigona.

However, the restrictions due to Covid-19 have denied him a chance to practice at the course Karen as the club is yet to open its doors to guest golfers.

His training schedule in March included two days of range practice where he hit 200 to 300 balls just to polish his tee shots.

He had a day dedicated to familiarising with the Karen course where he played one round of golf.

Another day of the week went to trying different tee shots at all the 18 holes at Karen.

All this he carefully recorded in a notebook to help him come up with a perfect game plan for the competition.

Wangai had tipped hole 15, which is a par four and hole three which had been dropped from a par five to a par four for Kenya Open to be the hardest holes to play.

In preparation for other Kenya Open tournaments, Wangai takes time to practice at Vipingo, taking advantage of the windy course, few weeks to competition since Karen is windy around March. 

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