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Simon Ngige takes lead in first round of Safari series

GOLF By Standard Sports | February 1st 2021
Simon Ngige in Safari Tour Golf series action at Limuru Country Golf Club, on October 7, 2020. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

A birdie finish at the par three-18th hole saw Thika Sports Club’s Simon Ngige grab a one shot lead in the opening round of the Safari Tour golf series seventh leg at the par 71 Nyali Golf and Country Club course on Sunday.

Ngige, who is seeking his first victory in the 2021 series, had picked up three successive birdies from the sixth to the eighth hole, though he closed the front nine with a bogey.

He started the back nine with a bogey at the down-hilly par three-10th and recovered one shot at the par five-11th.

He then bogeyed the 12th and 13th holes though he remained on-course up to the 18th where picked his fifth birdie of the day, to lead Golf Park’s Eric Ooko by one shot in the round that saw three players; Alfred Nandwa, Joseph Karanja and coast-based John Kisia withdraw from the tournament for various reasons.

Two others; Promise Silla and junior amateur Zayan Din missed the first round cut of 85 gross and better, leaving a field 48 players to battle it out in today’s second round where the top 20 and ties will proceed to the final two rounds.

Meanwhile, Ooko made two birdies in each nine but also dropped an equal number of shots for a level par 71.

On the other hand, Muthaiga’s Nelson Mudanyi and Greg Snow fired one over par 72 each, to tie for the third place.

Mudanyi birdied the first, second, 12 and 17th but picked a double-bogey six at the par four- fourth hole. He then dropped a shot at the sixth, ninth, and at the 16th hole.

Snow picked up his birdies at the fifth and 11th having double-bogeyed the fourth and at the par three 10th.

The two will make their attempt to the top spot during the second round which will be a tight affair for others.

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Sixth leg winner Justus Madoya, Golf Park’s David Wakhu and Uganda Open champion Robson Chinhoi were behind on two over par 73 and will be ready to strike for the leadership when the field gets underway for the second round from 9am today.

Royal Nairobi Golf club's Erick Ooko tees-off during the Safari Tour third round where he shot 3-under 69 T1 finish alongside Thika Sports Clubs Simon Ngige, October 15, 2019. [Mose Sammy, Standard]

The seventh leg started with a Pro-Am event sponsored by Kenya Tourism Board on Saturday where the team of pro Justus Madoya and his all- female amateur partners of Susan Stokes, Terry Odoo and Alyssa Jamal posted a total of 81 points.

They won by one point against Robson Chinhoi’s team of Ken Mwige, D.J. Maryu and Qamar Naqvi.

In third place was the team of Riz Charania and amateurs Gulam Khaku, Mohamed Khaku and Suresh Hirani on 79 points.

Former club chairman Christine Ockotch took the individual title with 35 points, with Tom Abwao winning the men’s first prize also on 35 points, same with lady winner Zaituni Mohamed.

In second place for the men was Saj Shah on 34 and the best junior boy was Sanjiv Dhutia with 33 points.

Alyssa Jamal was the best junior girl on 27 points, with Mburu Kariuki and Zafir Din winning the nines on 19 and 21 points.

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