Only two Kenyan players - Simon Ngige of Thika Sports Club and the Great Rift Valley Golf Resort’s Justus Madoya - made the two over par cut, and will be in the hunt for cash prizes in the final two rounds of the Magical Kenya Open golf tournament.
In Friday’s second round, Ngige who started the day on three under, carded one over par 72 to make his first ever European Tour cut with a two-round total of two under par 140, to wind up joint 23rd.
“I was a bit worried for a start because my caddie was involved in a small accident on his way to Karen and by the time he arrived I had 10 minutes to tee off. However, that did not bother us so much as we managed to play per our plan which was to go for pars as opposed to hunt for birdies," said Ngige.
Ngige however said strong winds made play difficult, particularly the first five holes. “We managed to calm down eventually and picked up two birdies in each nine which was good enough although I dropped shots on 12th, 14th and 16th at the back nine after starting with a bogey at the first hole and later on at the seventh where I pushed my tee shots to the far left," Ngige said.
“We can’t just wait until June for the KCB Karen Masters or the start of the next Safari Tour, so its important to look for events to play,” Ngige, who would like to play in Zambia and Zimbabwe, added.
Madoya posted his second 71 to qualify for a level par 142 in his second round, including four birdies and two bogeys on the third and 16th holes.
Meanwhile, a triple bogey early in the round, denied long-hitting Dismas Indiza a place in the final two rounds.
Indiza, who had carded two under par 69 in the opening round, dropped his first shot of the day, picked up a seven at the par four-third hole, and followed it up with three more bogeys at the fourth, sixth and seventh, and finished the first nine with a birdie.
He brought some hope to the fair crowd which was following him after picking up two back-to-back birdies at the 10th and 11th, parred to the 14th dropped one at the 15th which he quickly recovered at the 16th and looked like he was heading for a possible cut until he bogeyed the last hole for five over par 76 for a two-round total of three over 145 to miss the cut by a shot.
Also missing the cut by one shot was Muthaiga’s Greg Snow who was Kenya’s hope in the Open following his sterling performance in Kenya Open qualifier tournament, the Safari Tour.
Despite starting with a birdie, Snow dropped a shot at the third, picked up a double at the par five-sixth, with two more bogeys at the 16th and 17th which cancelled out his two back-to-back birdies at the 11th and 12th for the day’s one over par 72 for 145, having shot two over par 73 in the first round.
Kenya Amateur Strokeplay champion Samuel Njoroge carded level par 71 but his two-round total of 146 left him two shots off the cut. A total of 14 local pros and six amateurs entered the tournament which attracted a field of 144.