Diani Beach Masters champion Simon Ngige fired his way to the top of the leaderboard at the close of round one in this year’s Tanzania Open at the par 72 Kiligolf Resort on Friday.
Ngige, who is based at Thika Sports Club, birdied a couple of holes for two under par 70 in the pro section of the event, which attracted 57 professionals from as far away as Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi.
Following Ngige closely, was the long hitting Dismas Indiza, who shot level par 72 to keep his hopes of winning the event alive. Behind Indiza was another Kenyan pro Mathew Omondi of Vet Lab, who shot one over par 73 to tie with R. Cairns from Zimbabwe and Tanzania’s Jimmy Molell.
Four other players tied on three over par 75 during the first round of the Sh800,000 event, which for the first time has attracted players from most of the East and Central Africa countries.
Those included David Wakhu, Tony Omulli, Eric Ooko all from Kenya and the Tanzania-based Zimbabwean Farayi Chitengwa.
The second round, which was to decide the top 20 players to proceed to the last two rounds is ongoing.
Meanwhile, Tanzania’s top amateur Victor Joseph was leading the amateurs after firing an impressive one under par 71, which gave him a four shots lead from Kenya’s Robinson Owiti, who is the defending champion.
The handicap one Owiti carded three over par 75, just a shot better than his compatriot Mike Kisia, who fired 76, while Uganda’s Ronald Rugumayo was on six over par 78.