Muthaiga Golf Club’s Mutahi Kibugu fired one over 73, to claim a one shot lead in the first round of a 36-hole qualifying round as the 2019 Kenya Junior Match Play golf championship got underway at the par 72 Sigona Golf Club course on Tuesday.
The handicap one Kibugu birdied the second and the ninth with two bogeys in between (third and eighth) to level the outward nine, while at the back nine, Kibugu dropped a shot at the 11th and a late one at the home green (18th) with only one birdie coming at the 17th to lead his club-mate Zubair Khan by one shot at the conclusion of the first round.
Khan on the other hand was firing well, picking up pars at the opening six holes until he bogeyed the seventh and eighth. He managed to recover one at the ninth but dropped another shot at the 16th for his two over par 74. Finishing the first round in a distant third was Windsor Golf Hotel and Country Club’s Lee Kimathi on five over par 77.
He bogeyed the first three holes in the first nine, then picked up a seven at the par four-eighth having birdied the sixth. He however managed to level the back nine where he birdied the 11th and 12th but against an equal number of bogeys coming at the 15th and 16th.
It was however not a good start for others like Daniel Kiragu of Nakuru, Steve Orinda of Vet Lab Sports Club, Njoroge Kibugu, Leo Zurovac of Vet Lab and the recently crowned Junior Stroke Play champion Taimur Malik also from Muthaiga.
Kiragu and Orinda carded eight over par 80 while Malik, Njoroge and Zurovac all posted 82 gross each.
A total of 35 juniors turned up for the Absa Group-sponsored event being organized by the Junior Golf Foundation (JGF) whose second round was still on at the time of writing. The two qualifying rounds will be followed by the match play proper from Wednesday with the finals set for Thursday.