Local golfers have come under fire from a section of fans and golf enthusiasts for playing second fiddle to the visiting professionals at the Kenya Open Golf Tournament that ended at Muthaiga Golf Club yesterday. Only two Kenyans, Mohit Mediratta and Riz Charania, made the cut in this year’s edition of the Open as the remaining pros fell by the wayside.
Ooko Obura and Greg Snow missed the cut by a whisker after finishing with a 2 over par 144 to rank tied 74th while the top 73 made the cut. Charania finished his four rounds at six over par 290 while Mediratta finished with an eight over par 292.
Featuring in the Open for his very first time, Sigona’s Mediratta expressed his joy for having made the cut and played amongst the best golfers in front of a home crowd. “It has been a beautiful experience perience and I am proud of myself.
Unfortunately it wasn’t the weekend I was hoping for. I had a bad day in the office in round three and four but that’s fine as it happens in golf. It is motivating to know I can play at the highest level and I can only grow from here,” said Mediratta.
The 23-year-old also came to the defence of his fellow local golfers for the backlash they have received saying all Kenyans gave their all in the competition and their performance can only be linked to the amount of exposure they have.
“Competition is missing in the local front and golfers lack sponsorship. We have talented golfers who would compete at any level but tournaments only crop up few months to the Open. Talent cannot grow without tournaments where young golfers rank themselves against the best elsewhere.
We need tournaments that are spread across the year,” added Mediratta challenging corporates to provide exposure as opposed to lining up to sponsor a single event. Based in South Africa where he plays at the Sunshine Tour, the youngster has promised to do an all-round preparation ahead of next year’s Open as he has already gained entry by virtue of making the cut this year.
“My swing was not up to scratch, my putt was not perfect and I have to work on that as I prepare for the next Open,” he said.