With temperatures of over 25-degrees Celsius and swirling winds for the better part of the day, scoring conditions were tough during Round-One of the Safari Tour season opener at the Nyali Golf and Country Club.
Golf Park's Jacob Okello, Railway's Alfred Nandwa and Mumias Sugar's Dismas Indiza returned scores of level par 71 to lead the field after Round One with Dennis Saikwa and amateur golfer Daniel Nduva tied in fourth place with a one-over par score of 72.
Okello started off the round with a triple-bogey at the par-5, first before making amends with birdies at the par-3, third and the par-5, fifth. He later dropped a shot at the par-4, ninth to card a total of 38 on the first nine having held par on the rest of the holes. He played a blemish-free back nine, holing birdies at the par-5, 11th and the par-3, 15th for a total of 33 to finish the round at level par 71.
On his part, Nandwa dropped two shots on the first nine, at the par-3, third and the par-3 sixth, but holed a birdie at the par-5 fifth for a total of 36. On the back nine, birdies at the par-5, 11th, par-4, 13th and par-5 17th saw him card a total of 35 having dropped shots at the par-3 15th and the par-6 16th.
Indiza's round started off to a flyer; playing blemish-free on the first nine and holing birdies at the par-5, first, the par-5, fourth and the par-4, eight for a front nine total of 32. It is on the back nine that he struggled, dropping shots at the par-3, 10th and the par-4, 12th and the par-4, 16th and picking up a solo birdie at the par-5, 11th for a back nine total of 39.
Rookie Matthew Wahome made a good account of himself with a round of 73 in what is his first tournament as a golf professional. Rizwan Charania, Tony Omuli, Simon Ngige and Greg Snow finished with a three-over par score of 74. Snow led the Safari Tour through the 2018/19 season whilst Ngige had a good outing at the 2019 Magical Kenya Open.
Joseph Karanja, Frank Matilo, Erik Ooko and David Wakhu finished with a score of 75, four shots off the lead. Wakhu was the winner of the Nyali leg of the 2018/19 Safari Tour season.
The elite amateurs invited to this leg of the Safari Tour did not fare well through the first round; Adel Balala finished seven over 78, Gathogo Kaguta returned a score of 80 and Karan Inamdar finished at 82. Andrew Wahome, 13-years, returned a commendable score of 84.
Lady pro golfer, Bhavi Shah had a tough day in the office with a score of 86; she will not be playing tomorrow having fallen foul of the 85 gross score rule that eliminates any player returning a score of 86 or worse. Muthaiga's Nelson Mudanyi, who scored 86, has also been eliminated.
A total of 46 professional and elite amateur golfers participated in Round One, that field will now be reduced to 44 through the second round and it will be further reduced to the top 20 and ties after the second round.
Action resumes tomorrow in Round Two of the leg which will tee off at 10:00am.