What you need to know:
- Meanwhile, Sigona’s John Wangai was two shots off the leaders in third place after levelling the course as Malawi’s Paul Chidale, Robson Chinhoi from Zimbabwe, Jacob Okello from Golf Park and Railway’s Samuel Njoroge tied for fourth on one over par 73 each.
- The second round of the Sh1 million event gets under way for the remaining 46 players who went through the first round cut of 85 gross and better.
Home professional Nelson Simwa tied with the long-hitting Dismas Indiza on two under par 70 in the opening round of the 2020 Safari Tour third leg at the par 72 Vet Lab Sports Club course in Kabete Sunday.
Starting at the back nine, the Betika sponsored Simwa took off well, picking up an early birdie at the down-hilly par four-10th, a birdie that triggered three more birdies at the 12th, 18th and at the start of the front nine.
He, however, dropped two shots at the fifth and seventh holes for the day’s two under par to tie with the senior pro Indiza.
“The pin positions were a bit tough for me, I managed to find my way out, save for the two holes. I had a good tee-shot and a good six-iron shot at the fifth hole, but had a bad approach shot," said Simwa, who thanked his sponsor for always encouraging him to play well in the Safari Tour.
“The course, particularly the greens are in good condition though because of the pin positions, one can very easily make three putts," added Simwa, who said his strategy this week is to try and play two under par per round and see how far he can go.
For the long hitter Indiza, the day did not start well as he dropped a shot right from the word go, but managed to recover well first with an eagle three at the par five-fifth, then birdied the seventh. A double bogey at the 14th almost ruined the day, though he managed to par the remaining holes to at least tie with home player Simwa.
Last year, Indiza lost the Vet Lab crown in a play off with Muthaiga’s Greg Snow, who started this year’s Road to Magical Kenya Open campaign with a victory at Limuru, though he later came third at Royal Nairobi during last week’s second leg.
“I played nine holes at Royal on Friday then came to Vet Lab for an 18 holes to see how the course was playing, and that really helped to understand the greens well here," said Indiza, who said he started the season badly, but hopes to catch up in the remaining events.
“My strength today was chipping and putting though I still have to polish them up before tomorrow’s second round," said the Mumias-based golfer, who missed the cut at Limuru, but tied for 15th at Royal.
Meanwhile, Sigona’s John Wangai was two shots off the leaders in third place after levelling the course as Malawi’s Paul Chidale, Robson Chinhoi from Zimbabwe, Jacob Okello from Golf Park and Railway’s Samuel Njoroge tied for fourth on one over par 73 each.
The second round of the Sh1 million event gets under way for the remaining 46 players who went through the first round cut of 85 gross and better.
The leader board;
Nelson Simwa 70
Dismas Indiza 70
John Wangai 72
Paul Chidale (Malawi) 73
Robson Chinhoi (Zim) 73
Jacob Okello 73
Samuel Njoroge 73
Justus Madoya 74
Hesbon Kutwa 74