Kenya’s elite amateur golfers got off to a flying start, taking the top five positions on the leaderboard as the 2019 Uganda Open Amateur Golf Championship got underway at the magnificent Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort in Uganda on Wednesday.
Leading the Kenyan charge was the Great Rift Valley Golf Resort’s Simon Njogu who shot an impressive three under par 69, as Thika Sports Club’s Peter Mwangi Rimui followed on one under par. Njogu made an early birdie at the par five-second hole and stayed on course up to the short hole-seventh where he picked up a bogey. He however finished the front nine well, firing two back-to-back birdies at the eighth and ninth holes to carry over two under par score to the back nine.
At the back nine, Njogu birdied the 11th and 13th and was destined for four under par finish until he dropped a shot at the par four-18th hole. Rimui on the other hand made birdies on the first and second but dropped those two shots at the third and sixth, and it was at the back nine where he recovered picking up birdies at the 13th, 17th and at the home green, though he had started the back nine with a bogey at the 10th hole.
Kenya Railway Golf Club’s Samuel Njoroge finished the opening round in third place after posting one over par 73, a round that included birdies on the fifth, and 12th having dropped shots on the 10th, 13th and 14th. Deaf golfer Isaac Makokha completed the top four with a score of two over par 74 while long-hitting Daniel Nduva tied for the fifth place with six others including youngster Zubair Khan of Muthaiga, Golf Park’s William Odera, Tanzania’s Victor Joseph and the best placed Ugandans Rodell Gaita, John Paul Basabose and Ashraf Bagalana.
A total of 19 Kenyan golfers including five juniors are participating in the event which comes after last weekend’s Uganda ladies Open won by Uganda’s Martha Babirye, a handicap four golfer who carded a three rounds total of 242 gross.
The second round of the men’s edition will be played on Thursday with the third and fourth round to take place on Friday and Saturday. The professional tournament which is part of the Kenya Open Golf Limited-organized Safari Tour is set for Monday next week starting with the registration and practice on Monday while the first round starts on Tuesday.