Kenya’s Edwin Mudanyi, managed to overcome the tough and hard greens, to post an opening round three under par 69, to share the round one lead with Uganda’s top professional Philip Kasozi as the Kitante Open, the 10th leg of the Safari Tour got underway at the par 72 Uganda Golf Club course along the Kitante Road, Kampala on Tuesday.
The Vet Lab Sports Club-based Mudanyi said his game was generally good and that the course was currently in great condition, save for the loop between ninth and 12th holes where he dropped three shots.
“One has to be really careful in the loop between nine and 12th as it is very easy to drop shots. On the other hand, the greens have been compressed hard so it is very easy to make a three put event when you are on regulation. But I will keep my original plan which is a good take off from the tee box,’’ said Mudanyi.
All the same Mudanyi took off well, making birdies as early as the first, third, and fourth and he appeared set for a low round as he birdied the eighth to make them five under until he dropped a shot at the nine, to embark on the back nine on four under 33.
He dropped shots at the 11th and 12th where he hit his approach shot to the right bunker for a five. He then missed a birdie putt at the 13th though he managed to sink one at the 16th to close the day on 69 same as Kasozi who birdied the first, second, fifth, sixth and eighth to wind up the opening nine a shot better than Mudanyi.
He equally had a tough back nine contributed by three bogeys on the 11th, 12th and 14th though with a birdie at the 13th hole. “We are used to a rather soft greens, but I think because of the event, they made them so hard and very tricky, but I will keep on the fire,’’ said Kasozi who needs to play well this week to put himself back into the hunt for the two regional slots for the 2020 Magical Kenya Open.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s Robson Chinhoi - who finished second behind Greg Snow in the ninth leg at Sigona - shot one under par 71 to keep a close eye on the leaders.
He shared third place with Nigeria’s Andrew Odoh and Uganda’s Brian Toolit, while long hitter Dismas Indiza was on level par 72, two shots better than Safari Tour leader Greg Snow who shot two over par 74 with an eighth on the par five-13th.
The Elite amateurs who are playing 54 holes were still on the course battling it out in their first round by the time of going to press.