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SPORTS

Swede Engstrom maintains lead at Vipingo

GOLF By Maarufu Mohamed | December 7th 2019
Swedish Julia Engstrom makes a swing at Vipingo.[Maarufu Mohamed,Standard]

Sweden’s Julia Engström maintained the second-day lead at the Magical Kenya Ladies Open Golf Championships presented by M-Pesa at the par 72 Vipingo Baobab Ridge in Kilifi County yesterday evening.

Engström who was the day one leader on 67 gross braved the afternoon heat to add a brilliant six-under par 66 gross for a total two days’ score of 133 gross going to the third round today.  

The 2018 Ladies European Tour Rookie of the Year said she was happy with her performance adding that she is enjoying her first visit to Kenya.

“I started off well and made four birdies in the last five holes. I didn’t hole that many putts in the middle of the round, but I finished off well. I hit more greens today, so I’m happy with my round,” she said.

Three of her closed challengers Scottish Kelsey Macdonald, Finland’s Ursula Wikstrom and Germany’s Esther Henseleit each shared the second slot by carding a total of 139 gross, missing the leader board by six strokes.

Swedish Julia Engstrom makes a swing at Vipingo.[Maarufu Mohamed,Standard]

“I hit it great off the tee, gave myself a lot of chances and my putting was really solid today. It was great to get out in the first group when it was a little less humid. I’m just really happy with my performance today, “said Macdonald.

The tournament’s star attraction Cheyenne Woods of USA who, Scotland’s Michele Thomson and Sanna Nuutinen from Finland shared the next slot after returning a total of 140 gross each.

Out of the 100 players from 28 countries, only 63 made the cut to the next two rounds that ends tomorrow in the battle for for Sh33 million prize money with the winner taking home Sh5 million.

The only Kenyan professional Bhavi Shah from Nyali golf and Country Club missed the cut after producing 167 gross with colleagues amateurs Naomi Wafula, Margaret Njoki, Agnes Nyakio, and Mercy Nyanchama also missing out.

Meanwhile, Tourism Cabinet Secretary, Najib Balala, has said that the ongoing Kenya Ladies Open will boost Kenya’s tourism prospects among global audiences who will be following the tournament on live TV, adding that it speaks to the country’s ability to attract some of the world’s top sporting events.

Speaking shortly after officially opening the tournament yesterday, Balala said the event displayed Kenya’s vision to continue using sports to profile Kenya.

“Golf is growing widely globally, and we appreciate that we can use sports to send our message and also to put Kenya on the map,” he said.

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