Nigerian professional golfer Andrew Odoh produced a bogey-free five under par 66, to claim a one shot lead at the close of the first day of the ninth leg of the Safari Golf tour series at Karen Country Golf Club, Nairobi.
Odoh who is chasing one of the three slots reserved for the visiting players picked up two birdies at the first nine’s sixth and the ninth, in addition to two back to back birdies at the 11th and 12th with a late one at the 16th, to finish ahead of Zimbabwe’s Robson Chinhoi who fired four under par 67 to finish second.
“Its my irons which did the work for me today as I only made six fairways, one of the reasons why I am at the range right now to try and get it right’’ said Odoh
Zimbabwean Chinhoi who has so far won three events in the Safari Tour including the Uganda Open, played a low 31 at the front nine where he made birdies on the first, seventh and eighth and at the ninth. He however made a six at the par five-11th but quickly recovered at the 12th for a fine 67 which gives him a great chance for a fourth title in the 2020/2021 Safari Tour series.
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“My game is definitely good at the moment and gives me a great chance not just making cut in the Open but win the tournament altogether’’ said Chinhoi who has been camping in Kenya since the season started.
“Staying here has real helped my game a lot and I am playing much better than when I joined the Safari Tour’’ added Chinhoi who attributed his good round on putting.
The first round produced 12 under par scores while 18 players played level par and better which shows the high level of golf being played this week.
Those on under par scores included long hitter Dismas Indiza who shot three under 68 to tie for the third place with John Wangai of Sigona and Zimbabwe’s Visitor Mapwanya.
Kenyan amateur players Paul Muchangi and Naomi Wafula had a good start at the two day event. Muchangi shot one under par 70 while wafula who is seeking his second cut in the tour, shot two over par 73 in the opening round.
“I am happy I started well today, I think playing in more events in the tour has really helped my game a lot and I look forward to play even better tomorrow’’ said Wafula.
The winner of the leg will take home Ksh. 375,000 and a place in the Kenya Open.
The Leader board after first day at Karen Country club;
Andrew Odoh (Nig) 66
Robson Chinhoi (Zim) 67
Visitor Mapwanya (Zim) 68
John Wangai 68
Dismas Indiza 68
Mohit Mediratta 69
Dennis Saikwa 69
Rizwani Charania 69
Simon Ngige 69
David Wakhu 69
Samuel Njoroge 70
Paul Muchangi 70