Shield is back home: Royal Nairobi relive memorable Tannahill win on 99th anniversary

NAIROBI, Kenya, April 2 – Royal Nairobi Golf Club (RNGC) captain Joseah Kogo has credited his teammates for their self belief and discipline on the way to winning the Tannahill Shield for the first time in five years.

Kogo hailed the team’s fighting spirits despite being underdogs in the tournament.

“In the field we looked like we were underdogs but one good thing about Team Royal was the spirit…and the fighting spirit this years. They were together from the beginning…from training to listening to the coaches and the pros. They played together as one team…this has not happened in a long time,” Kogo said.

RNGC accumulated 39 points in the three-day Easter holidays competition, a single point ahead of second-placed Western.

Last year’s defending champions Sigona finished in fourth position with 33 points.

Club pro Jeff Kubwa admitted the 99th edition of Kenya’s oldest amateur golf tournament was one of the toughest in recent years.

Kubwa said the fact that RNGC were underdogs going into the tournament made their win sweeter.

Royal Nairobi Golf Club Njogu Kungu follows his shot. PHOTO/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

“Actually, this year was very competitive. We won this tournament by just one point ahead of Western who had a very good showing. Muthaiga were also playing very well. I strategised with the team because I knew that was what would win us the Tannahill…not the handicap. We beat big teams with national team players. Our average handicap was eight and we came into this tournament knowing we were underdogs,” Kubwa said.

Echoing his sentiments was team manager Tom Muchina who pointed out that teamwork and hardwork were the cornerstone to RNGC’s success in the tourney.

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Royal Nairobi’s Collins Too reacts before putting. PHOTO/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

“We are very happy with this outcome because we trained hard and prepared well. We learnt our lessons from last year and leveraged on those mistakes and they have paid off this year,” he said.

Club chair Charles Kariuki said their win is the perfect way to get over the heartbreak of last year’s edition when they finished sixth.

“It’s been long time coming…waiting to win the Shield. The last time we did it was five years ago…in 2019. We are quite excited, the Shield is back home,” Kariuki said.

With the competition turning 100 next year, many stakeholders are hopeful the tournament will transition to a higher level.

Some of the plans afoot include invitation of international teams, especially sister clubs of RNGC from other countries.

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