Madoya opens six-point lead in Safari Tour

ustus Madoya follows his shot during the opening round of the Safari Tour sixth leg series at the par 71 Great Rift Valley Golf Resort course on January 13, 2021.

Photo credit: Pool | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • He was lucky to get away with a bogey in a day where he made five birdies, but against a number of bogeys for four over par 75.
  • He and another top amateur, Simon Njogu of the Great Rift Valley Resort, were the only amateurs who made the 13 over par cut, the highest cut in recent times.

Round one leader Justus Madoya increased his lead by six shots, despite having dropped a shot in the second round of the Great Rift Valley Golf Resort leg of the 2020/2021 Safari Tour Golf series.

During Thursday’s round, Madoya, who has been enjoying a great home support, shot one over par 72 for a two rounds total of three under par 139. He leads Thika Sports Club’s Simon Ngige, Uganda’s Abbey Bagalana and amateur Adel Balala from Nyali Golf and Country Club Mombasa.

“I did not start the day well as I dropped three shots in a row from the third at the end of the first nine, but I managed two birdies in that nine and I knew I still had a chance of recovering at the back nine," said Madoya, who eventually birdied the 12th, 14th  and the last hole with three bogeys in between for the day’s 72.

He said his plan in the remaining two days is to pick up three under par in each round to win the event.

“I know players like Snow, Bagalana and Ngige will be playing well, but I am all set for that as I know my game and I know this course very well," Madoya said.

Of the three who tied for the second place on 145, Ngige had the best round of two under par 69, a round that included four birdies at the opening nine and one at the back. He closed the day with two back-to=back bogeys, which actually denied him a lower score for the day.

Ugandan Bagalana, who is seeking his first Safari Tour title, shot three over par 74, having levelled the course during the opening round.

“This tour has really improved my game and I am looking forward to play better in the remaining events and hopefully win one of them," said Bagalana, who finished 25th in the Uganda Open.

“ I had great chance of playing under par score but made a number bogeys, though I now know the course better’’ added Bagalana who along with Deo Akope were the only Ugandans who made the second round cut.

On the other hand, Muthaiga’s Greg Snow picked up a double-bogey at the 10th hole after dropping two shots at the opening nine, though three birdies at the 12th, 14th and 17th saw him finish on one over par 72 to finish on his own with 146, just a shot behind Bagalana, Ngige and the youngster Adel Balala, who hit his approached shot to the right bush at the 18th.

He was lucky to get away with a bogey in a day where he made five birdies, but against a number of bogeys for four over par 75.

He and another top amateur, Simon Njogu of the Great Rift Valley Resort, were the only amateurs who made the 13 over par cut, the highest cut in recent times.

Friday’s third round gets under way from 10am with Frank Matilo and John Wangai leading the field, while the leading group of Balala, Ngige and Madoya will be teeing off at 11.20am.

The leaderboard;

Justus Madoya 67, 72= 139

Simon Ngige 76, 69= 145

Abbey Bagalana(Ug) 71, 74= 145

Adel Balala(A) 70, 75= 145

Greg Snow 74, 72= 146

Eric Ooko 77, 70= 147

David Wakhu 74, 73= 147

Deo Akope (Ug) 72, 76= 148

Jacob Okello 73, 75= 148.

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