What you need to know:
- Closing the day on four under par was Natalia Guseva, an independent natural golfer who shot three under par 70 in the second round to move to second place on four under par 142
- A total of 64 players with six over par 152 went through the second round cut and will now begin the chase for the top prize of 45,000 Euro (about Sh7.7 million) in the 300,000 Euro tournament
- Vipingo-based Jackie Walter who had given Kenyans hope after a first round 75, shot 86 to finish with 15 over par 161
South African Cara Gorlei jumped to the top of the leaderboard halfway through the 2024 Magical Kenya Ladies Open as Kenyan players found the going tough at the par 73 Baobab Course Vipingo Ridge on Friday.
Gorlei had a perfect start, picking up three straight birdies from the first hole. She however dropped a shot at the seventh, then birdied the 10th,11th,13th. However, a double at the 14th almost ruined her game as it was followed by two single bogeys at the 16th and 17th for the day’s 72 and a two rounds total of five under par 141.
“Today was definitely tougher than yesterday but somehow, I managed to put in a good score after some good and bad runs during the 18 holes.
“I started birdie, birdie, par, birdie got off to a hot start and then I had a nice little four putt that set me back a little bit and then came in slow. To start the back nine, I had another three in a row, so that was great, but also still just came in slow; the putting was just very hot and cold.
“It took me a little while to get over the four putts that's why I slowed down but once I started the back nine I was like come on let's just get something going here so you just got to put it in play on this course and I didn't do that as well as yesterday. I'm still happy with the under par round,” said Gorlei.
Closing the day on four under par was Natalia Guseva, an independent natural golfer who shot three under par 70 in the second round to move to second place on four under par 142. She made her first birdie at the third, eagled the sixth, and added a bogey at the seventh but dropped shots at the last two holes of the opening nine.
She however made birdies at the 11th and 16th with a bogey in between (15th). Four others tied on three under par 143. They included Ayako Vehara from Japan, Chiara Tamburlini from Switzerland, and Singapore’s Shannon Tan.
A total of 64 players with six over par 152 went through the second round cut and will now begin the chase for the top prize of 45,000 Euros (about Sh7.7 million) in the 300,000 Euros tournament which kickstarts what appears to be a 2024 Ladies European Tour (LET) series.
Those who made it through did not however include the five Kenyans who found the going tough. Vipingo-based Jackie Walter who had given Kenyans hope after a first round 75, shot 86 to finish with 15 over par 161.
Another home player Naomi Wafula, who made cut in last year’s tournament finished with 159 in 95th place.
“It was very difficult to getting into the greens on regulation particularly at the front. The first nine was worse for me today as I picked up two bogeys in the first three holes and that was my undoing,’’ said Wafula, who besides the two bogeys, also picked up a double at the eighth.
“The back nine was better but I still missed many birdie chances and that denied me a decent finish, but that is golf for you. It doesn’t real workout when you real want to play well’’.
Of the others, Dubai-based Kellie Gachaga shot her second 81 to finish in 102 with 162, two shots better than Channelle Wangari on 164, while Mercy Nyanchama made a 13 shots recovery, but it was an improvement coming rather late.
Cara Gorlei (SA) 69, 72= 141
Nataliya Guseva(Indep) 72, 70- 142
Ayako Vehara(Jap) 72, 71= 143
Chiara Tamburlini( Sui) 72, 71= 143
Shannon Tan (sing) 73, 70= 143
Alessandro Fanali (Ita) 70, 73= 143