Kenyans took an early charge at the 190,000-euro Barclays Kenya Open on Thursday, producing four under par cards half-way the opening round at Muthaiga Golf Club.
Long-hitting Dismas Indiza, who is under the sponsorship of Mumias Sugar Company, rolled in a total of six birdies. He had bogeyed the first hole but hit three birdies each at the front nine and the back nine.
Dane Morten Orum Madsen however fired seven under par 64 for the club house lead.
Nakuru’s James Lorum, who qualified for the Open during the Jamii Masters, shot two under par 69 to finish off the back nine after three-putting the 10th and the 15th.
Ganeev Giddie and Nyali’s Kopan Timbe shot one under par 70 while John Kagiri and Anil Shah were on level par 71 and Jacob Okello and David Odhiambo tied on two over par 73.
Vet Lab’s Mathew Omondi led the six amateurs – at least for the morning session where the wind was not as strong – when he shot three over par 74 to finish a shot better than two of the local pros, Peter Njage and Charan Thethy.
Big chance of locals advancing
Senior pro Elisha Kasuku, who is not playing this year, said there was a big chance of more local players going through the last two rounds if they remained focused.
Despite pushing his driver to the right on the fourth as was the case during the Jamii Telecom PGK Masters, this time Indiza was able to find the ball, chipped out well and parred the hole although he three-putted the par three-fifth hole.
“The greens were very hard compared to last week and early this week but that is to be expected during the Open,” said Indiza, who was still on the leaderboard as the afternoon players battled the strong wind. “I really want to try and play safe tomorrow to see how it goes.”
“The course is generally not that bad if one manages his game well,” observed Lorum who, like Indiza, said his approach in the second round will be to try and play safe.
“The problem is on the greens, which are hard and trickier than last year.
“The way the course is, one cannot be very aggressive.”