Ever green Dismas Indiza itching for Kenya Open glory
Evergreen long-hitting local professional, Dismas Indiza is looking forward to light up the 2017 Barclays Kenya Open when the European Challenge Tour tournament kicks-off in under a fortnight.
Indiza, the world number 1,893 is certain a case of nerves will not scuttle his long cherished ambition of being the first Kenyan winner of the Open with a tie for 13th in 2014 edition his best ever return at the blue-riband local golfing showpiece.
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In 2014, Indiza had Kenyan pulses racing when he led at the turn before his charge sensationally collapsed under immense pressure from fans that thronged Nairobi’s Karen Country Club to follow him over the final two days of the competition.
He nonetheless carded a five under 283 for the tournament buoyed by his performances in day two and three when he hit three under and four under to be in contention for the elusive trophy that was eventually won by South African youngster Jake Roos (10 under 278).
Indiza won over Ksh300,000 for his efforts then before tying for 28th in 2015 and slipping further down the finishing order for joint 38th last year.
When not hitting long in various golf courses, Indiza, 49, tends to his three cows at his one acre farm in Ikama, Mumias, Kakamega County.
His youngest son watches keenly as his father patiently attends to his prized cattle that produce milk solely for domestic use as well as 50 chickens reared for the same and during the off season, the father of six savours time at home with his family.
The former caddie who took an interest in golf more than two decades ago has a section in his house where the honours he has racked up at home and internationally are proudly displayed.
“I started this game like a caddie at Nandi Bears Club. I joined as member in 1992 and played as an amateur for seven years before turning professional.
“I didn’t know this game will take me somewhere because when I started, I was joking. Nobody told me I would be somewhere until when I was starting to get prizes in Kitale,” Indiza recalled his start on the golfing journey that has seen him play at the pristine courses at home and abroad.
Two of the country’s most revered golfers, the late Abdallah Beka and Jacob Okello, who came closest to win the Kenya Open in 1994, were behind his move from amateur to paid ranks.
“Beka paid for me to join the professional ranks and I was in Kitale for six years,” he added.
Former Cabinet Minister, Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi and Nairobi Governor, Dr. Evans Kidero then convinced Indiza to switch his base to Mumias Golf Club.
“Golf has taken me around the world. Nigeria, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Zambia, United Kingdom, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi,” Indiza underscored.
Indiza built his home from his earnings as a professional near the Mumias Golf Club, which is a 15 minutes drive. Playing the game has come with additional benefits that he would never have envisaged before.
“My challenge is when you have sponsor, you can play and if you do not, you cannot unless you borrow money from friends and hope to win to pay them back. Golf is for the rich.
“Mumias is taking care of me. They have supported me to play Kenya Open this and last year besides going to Uganda,” the veteran reported.
Golf has helped the soft-spoken giant to educate his children with one of his sons joining Kenya Revenue Authority while another joined Form One in January besides taking care of his mother outside his nuclear family.
As he gears for another Kenya Open at Muthaiga Golf Club in Nairobi between March 23 and 26, Indiza admits the pressures of perform at the tournament overbear even the best golfers.
“Sometimes you cannot recall your own name when they call you out to the course. You can even freeze when you are about to hit the ball. Kenya Open is not a joke,” Indiza emphasises.
He recalls some of the highlight performances of his career as winning Ksh800,000 at the Nigeria Open, finishing runner-up at Uganda Open and bagging the KCB Series title.
As he gears for his seventh Kenya Open appearance, Indiza knows the clock is ticking towards the end of his storied career.
He decries the lack of tournaments to ensure local professionals make a good living from the game citing it as a reason why it is hard for a Kenyan golfer to win the local Open since there are few events for them to practise their skill.
Indiza remains uncertain of his future since his sponsors Mumias Sugar Company are going through lean financial times.
“If you want to golf, you need support. These days at least, Kenya Golf Union are giving caddies assistance to play golf. Mumias was down last year and I don’t know how they will support me.
“After this year, maybe I will write an application to play in the senior ranks tour and concentrate on my small business and if they change the rules, I could own my own golf course,” the long-hitter underscored.
INDIZA KENYA OPEN RECORD
Tournament End Date Pos R1 R2 R3 R4 Total Par
Barclays Kenya Open 20/03/2016 T38 € 1,342 69 70 71 75 285 -3
Barclays Kenya Open 12/04/2015 T28 € 1,620 69 69 70 75 283 -5
Barclays Kenya Open 09/03/2014 T13 € 3,300 73 69 68 73 283 -5
Barclays Kenya Open 17/02/2013 T63 – 69 76 145 +3
Barclays Kenya Open 01/04/2012 T22 € 1,805 67 70 75 70 282 -2
Barclays Kenya Open 03/04/2011 T101 – 72 75 147 +5