Thika Sports Club’s Simon Ngige went up by two shots with a two rounds total of three under 141 after firing level par 72 in the second round of the Prime Bank Diani Beach Masters at the Leisure Lodge Beach and Golf Resort on Thursday.
Ngige started off with a bogey at the par four-first hole and dropped two more at the sixth and seventh.
However, birdies at the second, 14th and 16th saw him level the course, to top the list of the surviving 23 players who made the second round cut to begin the real hunt for the top prize of Sh110,000 in the Sh1 million purse courtesy of Prime Bank.
“The course is tough though the wind was not so strong today, but I think most of us were hit by the heat,” said Professional Golfers of Kenya (PGK) chairman Charan Thethy.
Moving to the second place from fourth was Kopan Timbe, who recovered from a number of bogeys including a triple at the tough par five-ninth hole to close the day on one under par 71 and a two rounds total of one under 143, just two shots off the leader.
It all started well for Timbe, who made birdies on the second and fifth with two dropped shots at the fourth and seventh though it was the eighth at the long par five-ninth which almost threw him off gear.
He, however, produced three straight birdies from the 16th to cancel some of the bogeys.
Meanwhile, Greg Snow, who had shared the first round lead with Ngige, shot three over par 75 to drop to third place on 144. Also dropping was Dismas Indiza who shot 76 for 147 tying with Anil Shah, Jeff Kubwa and John Wangai. The pros will be joined by the amateurs in Friday’s third round which gets under way from 7am.
The leader board:
Simon Ngige, 69, 72 = 141
Kopan Timbe 72, 71 = 143
Greg Snow 69, 75 = 144
Tony Omuli 73, 73 = 146
Anil Shah 76, 71 = 147
Jeff Kubwa 76, 71 = 147
John Wangai 74, 73 = 147
Dismas Indiza 71, 76 = 147
Jacob Okello 76, 73 = 149
Nelson Simwa 78, 72 = 150.