•Courtesy of a bogey-free first nine, Madoya managed to jump to the top, leaving Nyali Golf Club’s amateur Adel Balala in second place.
•“The course is playing well and probably easy to score if one stays on target and exercises patience on the greens,” —Madoya.
Home professional Justus Madoya got off to flying start, firing four under par 67, to grab a three-shot lead as sixth leg of the 2020/2021 Safari Tour Golf series got underway yesterday at the Great Rift Valley Golf Resort in Naivasha.
Courtesy of a bogey-free first nine, Madoya managed to jump to the top, leaving Nyali Golf Club’s amateur Adel Balala in second place.
“Usually I start poorly and then recover but I am happy I started well this time round and I am hoping this is the beginning of a good week,” said Madoya in an interview after his round. He made birdies at the par four-first, third, fifth and sixth holes.
He also started the back nine well though a double-bogey at the par three-15th following an early single bogey at the 13th almost ruined the day for him but still managed to recover with two birdies at the 14th and 16th .
“The course is playing well and probably easy to score if one stays on target and exercises patience on the greens,” added Madoya.
He said he hopes to build up on his opening round with probably better scores in the remaining rounds.
Following Madoya in second place was amateur Adel Balala from Nyali. Balala posted one under par 70 despite missing a number of birdie chances particularly at the back nine, where he dropped a shot at the 13th.
He had made two birdies at the front nine’s third and sixth holes, a good foundation but birdies became elusive at the back nine.
“I hit very good shots at the back nine and I was all the time on regulation but I couldn’t make some birdies. However, I am happy starting on under par score,” said Balala.
Two players including Uganda Open champion Robson Chinhoi of Zimbabwe tied for third place on level par 71 while Uganda’s Deo Akope was on one over par 72.
Chinhoi, who shot an amazing 15 under par in the Uganda Open on a tough condition course, started off with a birdie at the first hole in yesterday’s first nine and concluded it with a birdie at the ninth with a bogey at the fourth.
He then bogeyed the 12th and 15th with only two birdies at the 13th and 17th levelling the day to tie with Uganda’s Abbey Bagalana who made five birdies but against a similar number of bogeys one of them being at the home green. A total of 45 players made the first round cut out of the field of 48 players. Today’s second round is set for 9am.
Justus Madoya 67
Adel Balala (A) 70,
Robson Chinhoi (Zim) 71
Abbey Bagalana (Ug) 71
Deo Akope 72
Dismas Indiza 73
Jacob Okello 73
Njuguna Ngugi 74
David Wakhu 74
Greg Snow 74