IT was an epic play off between a Tanzanian, Victor Joseph and a Kenyan Edwin Mudanyi, that heralded this year’s Tanzania Open at Kili Golf course in Arusha as the two were forced to share the title.
Witnessed by the Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, Harrison Mwakyembe, the finals of the Tanzania Open at amateur category saw for the first time two golfers ending with similar score and even the sudden death couldn’t decide who is better than the other.
Joseph and Mudanyi tied on aggregate 296 gross strokes after the end of the fourth rounds of the 72- hole duel. The overnight leader, Joseph led Mudanyi by three shots going to the final round, but carded one-over 73 as his closest challenger carded two under par 70 to level the score at pressure group.
They were forced to stage a play off that was keenly watched by Minister Mwakyembe at par-3 no. 18, but they twice tied after both securing a par. As the darkness hits course the only option according to tournament rules, was to go for a Monday 18 - hole playoff.
But Mudanyi said he had no budget to stay longer in Arusha and they both decided to share the top prize.
Mudanyi, however, admitted that Victor was not luck since he could have won the title without a playoff if he hadn’t squandered his big lead. Impressed by the immaculate course, tournament organisation and the golf skills displayed by players, Mwakyembe lauded young Joseph’s fighting spirit to ensure the golf title remains in Tanzania.
Tanzania’s top seeded player, Joseph had a perfect start after posting 71, 74 76,73 at early rounds to lead from day one, but Mudanyi who had posted 78,76,71, 70 charge at final round.
Seif Mcharo from TPDF Lugalo Club finished third overall after grossing 78,77,73,73 strokes. A Tanzanian professional based in Mombasa, John Davis said it happens any where but it was his first time in the country for two players to share the top prize.
Also won titles in the tournament included the Retired General Mirisho Sarakikya who notched 69 points to win senior golfers title while Beatus Kasegenya who carved 61 points was the division’s his runner up.
Tayana William won ladies title after returning 71 total stable-ford points followed by Madina Iddi who posted 69 points. Division A prize went to Prabvir Singh who grossed 295 to win on countback after tying with his close pursuer, Richard Mtweve on the same score.