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Sigona hard-hitter Wangai opens Safari Tour second leg with win

Last updated 1 month ago | By Ochieng Oyugi

Njuguna Ngugi during Safari Tour Golf series at Royal Nairobi golf club on Monday Oct 12, 2020. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

The four-day competition has attracted 58 players.

Sigona hard-hitter Charles John Wangai fired three-under-par 69 to take an early lead on day one of the second leg of the 2020/21 Safari Tour series at par 72 Royal Nairobi Golf Club yesterday.

Popularly known as C.J among his peers, Wangai had birdies in holes two, three and seven in front nine; 10th and 14th in the back to seal the sweet victory.

"What worked for me were my putts, they were so perfect," the Professional Golfers of Kenya captain said.

"I struggled off the tees but had good up and downs (recovery) afterward."

The contestants endured sweltering heat on the dry course and Wangai would sip water at the intervals just to stay hydrated.

"The cold drink came in handy as I maintained my concentration from the opening to the last stretch," he said.

The inspired father of two had enough gas after the game as he proceeded to the range last evening to hit more shots to perfect his tees ahead of the penultimate stage today.

"I'm leaving nothing to chance, I want to improve ahead of tomorrow's leg."

"Even though my eyes are on the money bracket, my aim is to win this leg," the 32-year old said.

Wangai finished 15th overall in the first leg of the circuit in Limuru last week.

CJ Wangai reacts during 2020 Safari Tour Golf Series at Limuru Country club in Tigoni on Monday Oct 5, 2020. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]  

He has never won any round of the series, currently in its third edition.

Local players use these legs to qualify for the prestigious Magical Kenya Open.

Interestingly, Wangai has never missed any edition of the Open since his first attempt in the European Tour event in 2012.

He has also never proceeded to the money bracket at the Open in all his eight attempts.

Muthaiga's Kopan Timbe registered two under par 70 to finish second as Robson Chinoi (Zimbabwe) and Alloys Nsabimana (Rwanda) settled for third on one under par 71 each.

Simon Ngige of Thika Greens and homeboy Hesbon Kutwa were fourth on level pars each.

Ngige felt the result was not bad after allowing to his poor start in the par-four hole one.

Limuru winner, Greg Snow had torrid moments on the pitch, finishing fifth on one over par 73.

Golf Park's Tony Omuli continued with his poor run as he ended with a six over par 78.

He had a bad second shot in the ninth and lost a ball in the 11th. 

"I haven't played well for a while. I'm hoping for better performance tomorrow. I will improve on my swings," Omuli said.

Paul Muchangi, who aims to be the second amateur to win a leg in the series, had a rough time on the course, ending the day on eight over par 80.

"My objective this season is to emerge victorious at least in one round of the circuit but the pressure is real, I'm hopeful," the Limuru player said.

Michael Karanga of Ndumberi Golf Course is so far the only successful amateur in the series following his last season's victory in Limuru.

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