Ngige leads locals at Magical Kenya Open
Thika Golf Club’s Simon Ngige led the local players after round one of the 2019 Magical Kenya Open, returning a score of 3-under par, 68 to place him 13th on the leader board.
He placed one stroke ahead of Mumias based hard hitter Dismas Indiza with Jack Singh Brar and South Africa’s Louis De Jager returning a score of 7-under par to share the lead.
Round two action teed off at 7:20am EAT on Friday, with the field of 144 golfers looking to make the CUT to play in the third and fourth rounds.
Englishman Singh started off his round on Thursday in steady fashion, not dropping a shot in the opening five holes, before turning on the style with an eagle on the par-5 sixth.
He followed it up with a hat trick of birdies on the par-4 seventh, eighth and ninth for a first nine score of 30, 5-under par.
He kept his form going after turning with further birdies on the par-5 11th and 12th, while holding par on the rest of the holes to return a blemish free card of 7-under par, 64 for the round.
Speaking after his round, Singh mentioned how the Karen Course was different from the ones he is used to and how he managed to hit the right shots at the right time.
“Through the round I got up and down when I needed to and then I was five under through my last four – a great way to finish the round. It was my first time at this course, it is very different to a lot of the courses that we play, it’s quite quirky, and that is something which has suited me in the past, and I like it here.”
On his part Louis had a slow start, dropping two shots at the par-3 second, but recovering with birdies on the par-4 third and par-3 fourth holes. He wrapped up the front nine in great form, picking up a further four shots in the last three holes to return a score of 30, 5-under par at the half way point.
He went on to pick up further shots at the par-5 12th and par-4 13th, before faltering with a bogey on the par-3 14th, a further birdie at the 18th saw him return a score of 34, 2-under par for a total score of 7-under par 64 on the day.
Speaking on his round, De Jager mentioned how great it was to be back in Africa and how glad he was that he was playing well.
“It is always nice to be back in Africa, and when we came here on Tuesday, I felt right at home on my home continent and it felt very similar with the altitude to Pretoria which is home for me. I have been hitting it really well over the past two weeks and I did that again today, but just managed to hole a few putts too.”
“It was a lot windier today than I am used to here, so to come away with the score that I did was really satisfying.” He added.
The two finished one shot ahead of India’s Bhullar Gaganjeet (-6) and the pair of Spain’s Adri Arnaus and Nothern Ireland’s Michael Hoey who finished on 5-under par. On what was a low scoring and windy round one at the Karen Country Club.
Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn finished the round tied for 24th, on a score of 1-under par, alongside the 2016 Kenya Open winner Sebastian Soderberg.