Chinhoi maintains lead on Safari Tour merit standings

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Robson Chinhoi from Royal Harare Golf Club, Zimbabwe poses with the trophy after winning the fourth leg of the Safari Tour at Sigona Golf Club in Nairobi on January 18, 2023. CREDIT: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

He might have missed the cut at last week’s Karen leg of the 2022-2023 Safari Tour golf series held at the Karen Country club in Nairobi, Kenya, but Zimbabwe’s Robson Chinhoi remains the man to beat on the East-Africa-based circuit’s Order of Merit standings.

The Safari Tour series, which comes to an end with this week’s event at Muthaiga Golf Club, serves as the qualifier for the Magical Kenya Open, which is sanctioned by the DP World Tour (formerly known as the European Tour).

A total of 10 players — eight (Kenyans) and two foreigners — will qualify for Magical Kenya Open 2023 which will be played at Muthaiga Golf Club from March 9-12.

Chinhoi is on course to qualify for the prestigious event as the winner of the Safari Tour Order of Merit title as he leads the standings on 200.5 points with one event left on this season’s schedule.

The Royal Harare-based professional golfer has won an impressive three times on the Safari Tour this season after clinching the Uganda Open in October before sealing back-to-back triumphs at Sigona Golf Club and Limuru Country Club on January 18 and 26, respectively.

Zimbabwean professional Visitor Mapwanya chips a shot during the Safari Tour series. at the par 72 Karen Country Club course on February 8, 2022. Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

Chinhoi leads the overall standings ahead of Kenya’s Greg Snow, in second position on 191.5 points, while the winner of last week’s event Samuel Njoroge is in third position on 188 points.

Another Zimbabwean golfer Visitor Mapwanya is the favourite to clinch the remaining Magical Kenya Open 2023 slot reserved for the second foreign player as he is in fourth position on 184.5 points, just ahead of Uganda’s Ronald Rugumayo, who is on 183 points.

Mapwanya, who has been enjoying a solid season after winning twice on the Chevron Tour last season in addition to the Malawi Open title, narrowly missed out on his maiden Safari Tour title after losing to Njoroge in a playoff on Wednesday.

Safari Tour overall standings and points after 5 out of 6 rounds:

Robson Chinhoi (ZIM) — 200.5points

Greg Snow (KEN) — 191.5

Samuel Njoroge — 188.0

Visitor Mapwanya (ZIM) —184.5

Ronald Rugamayo (UG) — 183.0

Simon Ngige (KEN) — 172.5

Dismas Indiza (KEN) — 150.0

Nyasha Muyambo (ZIM) — 143.0

Mutahi Kibugu (KEN) — 123.8

Justas Madoya (KEN) — 113.8

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