Muthaiga Golf Club’s Frank Matilo took an early lead as the sixth leg of the 2019/2020 Safari Tour pro series got under way at the par 71 Great Rift Valley Golf Resort course on Sunday.
Matilo carded two under par 69 which was made up of two birdies at the third and sixth and one more at the 10th, with only bogey of the day coming at the 12th, to claim a two shots lead from Sigona’s John Wangai and Golf Park’s David Wakhu, who shot level par 71 each.
“I managed to put the ball in play and made some good putts and that is what made me play an under par score. The course is in good condition though still playing long because of the on-going rains but one can play well if you stay on course,” said Matillo.
Wangai, who is also the captain of the Professional Golfers of Kenya (PGK), eagled the sixth, but made a bogey at the ninth and 10th and 13th, though a birdie at the 16th returned him to level par, to tie for the second place with Wakhu, who bogeyed the first, second and fourth, then recovered shots at the fifth, sixth and eighth, picked up a birdie at the 10th, but dropped a shot at the home green to also close the day on 71.
Jacob Okello, Simon Ngige and Nigeria’s Andrew Odoh, who arrived two hours before tee off, tied on one over par 72, while posting two over par 73 was Dismas Indiza and Rwabda’s Alloys Nsabimana.
The three were a shot better than the group of amateur Simon Njogu and pros Kenneth Bollo and Jeff Kubwa, who posted three over par 74 each.
Also joining the leader board was female amateur Naomi Wafula, who teeing off from the men’s tee, shot four over par 75 to tie with Mohit Mediratta, Tony Omulli and Erick Ooko of Royal.
Meanwhile, a field of 108 players is finally listed for the Magical Kenya Ladies Open at Vipingo Ridge’s Baobab Course from December 5 to 8 after the close of entries.
The impressive field for the inaugural event, which is the grand finale in the Ladies European Tour (LET), is drawn from 28 different countries including 10 players from a number of African countries.
Host country Kenya will be represented by amateurs Agnes Nyakio and Mercy Nyanchama from Vet Lab Sports Club, Golf Park’s Margaret Njoki and Nyali based pro Bhavi Shah.
Other African players will be Georgia Iziemgbe Oboh from Nigeria, who represented her country at the Youth Olympics in 2018, upcoming Swaziland player Nobuhle Dlamini, Stacy Lee Bregman and Lejan Lewthwaite from South Africa, Maha Haddioui from Morocco and American Lakareber Abe, born of Ugandan parents.
Kicking off the event will be the Pro-Am on December 4, where local amateurs will team up with the visiting professionals.
The leader board at Great Rift Valley Golf Resort;
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