Royal Nairobi Golf Club’s top amateur Jay Sandhu is under no pressure as he takes aim at another Magical Kenya Open slot during next month’s Kenya Amateur Open Stroke Play set to be hosted at his home course.
Sandhu lost 3 and 2, after eight rounds of golf played in four days, to home player Isaac Makokha at last weekend’s Amateur Match Play at Vet Lab Sports Club where the winner got a direct ticket to next year’s Kenya Open. He was gracious in defeat.
“I am proud of Makokha. It has been a tough four days, Vetlab is long and has many hills, my feet are tired and covered in blisters.
I played well but did not come through in the end. However, the better player won.
He was steady throughout the final and kept on the fairway and putted well.
I hit a few poor shots that I could have done better with. Some bounces also went strangely and had I been luckier with those maybe this would have gone differently.
But that is the name of the game,” said Sandhu after Sunday’s final further terming Makokha’s victory a great win for the hearing impaired community in Kenya.
He added: “Qualifying for Kenya Open is a goal I would like to achieve but I am under no pressure.
Pressuring myself to achieve it cannot help me get there. Instead I intend to purposely work towards it.
Just like Makokha got home advantage at Vetlab, I will enjoy the same at Royal next month.
From the way I played this weekend all I need to work on is my fitness, focus and energy.
The Stroke Play will be only four rounds as opposed to eight which we did at Vet Lab, even professionals do not play that much golf, so it will not be as tiring.”
The 39-year old says playing eight rounds, 36 holes each day, against younger players got him thinking of leaving it to them. However, pushing to the final proved that he still is a good golfer.
“Work commitments have me playing once or twice a month. Playing well against youngsters who play week in, week out goes to show I still got it. I have alot of trust in my game.
I have techniques that get me back into a game quickly. I have also learned ways I can get to my best with the least practise.
These will help me during Stroke Play,” he continued.
Meanwhile, Kenya Golf Union chairman Ben Omuodo has urged the golfing fraternity to continue adhering to the set guidelines by the government to help curb the spread of Covid-19.
While golf courses have remained open especially for members, club houses were closed on April 7.
After close to three months, club house restaurants were allowed to reopen provided they continuously adhere to set rules.
However, golfers are supposed to self-caddy. KGU has managed to find a temporary solution for caddies who lost their source of income by employing them as ball spotters across golf clubs.