Royal Nairobi’s Erick Ooko returned a level par score of 71 gross at the Nyali Golf and Country Club to lead the event after Round One.
Ooko opened his round with a birdie on the relatively easy dogleg left par-5 but quickly lost the advantage on the tough par-4 2nd hole. He birdied the par-5 5th and bogeyed the par-4 8th to finish level par - 36 on the opening nine.
On the back nine, Ooko dropped shots on the downhill par-3 10th and par-4 13th; he birdied the par-5 11th and the par-5 17th to complete his back nine on level par – 35 for a total of 71. Speaking after his round Ooko said he was happy with the conditions of the golf course.
“Nyali have presented an excellent championship course, the greens are putting true and the fairways are firm and fast,” he said. “I will try and pick up a few more birdies tomorrow and keep my errors down.
Muthaiga’s Ganeev Giddie and Windsor’s Rizwan Charania finished tied in second place with a score of 73, just 2-shots off the lead whilst Greg Snow, Ngugi Njuguna, Ken Abuto, Dismas Indiza and James Karanja finished tied in fourth place with a score of 74.
Justus Madoya, David Odhiambo and Frank Matilo were tied ninth with 75, Kopan Timbe and Hesbon Kutwa were tied 12th with 76.
The amateur quartet of Willam Kaguta, George Munyao, Temi Katembo and Adel Balala finished with a relatively good score of 6-over par 77 for a tie of 14th place.
The second round of the inaugural edition of the Safari Tour continues tomorrow(Monday 20th Aug) at the Nyali Golf and Country Club. Only the top 20 players at the close of Round two will proceed to play in the third and fourth round and to compete for a share of the Sh1m on offer.