Magical Kenya Open 2024: Kenyans struggle as Round 1 closes

Thursday, February 22nd, 2024 18:13 | By
Magical Kenya Open 2024: Kenyans struggle as Round 1 closes
Isaac Makokha in action at Muthaiga Golf Club course. PHOTO/Mediamx Digital

The opening round of the 2024 Magical Kenya Open-DP World Tour, currently ongoing at the Par 71 Muthaiga Golf Club, has proven to be one of pain for Kenyan players, who struggled to achieve good scores today at the close of business.

None of the 13 local players managed to get to a score of under par in what most observers attribute to a bout of nervousness at home. Indeed the highest scorer was Jonnie Walker - sponsored Greg Snow on level Par (71) with the rest hitting outside the target much to their frustrations.

It was also a day of epic harsh lessons for the amateur players on duty for Kenya even as the second day of action slated for Friday is expected to be brutal going by Day One proceedings.

Pro player Daniel Nduva of Nyali Golf Club, who finished the day on a score of +3(74), was mostly frustrated with his putting and promised to sharpen that aspect of his game.

"It was really challenging on the course and not so much was going well for me today. The putts were not today and my long game also suffered quite a bit. There is room to improve so I will stay positive," he said.

Nduva had two birdies on holes 4 and 10 but unwelcomed bogey shots in holes 9,12 and 15 proved costly as well for the former Tanzania Open Champion. For his troubles, the Coast-based player also hit a double bogey in hole eight which effectively neutralized his chances of finishing up the leaderboard.

Jastas Madoya, who closed at +2(73), also echoed his frustration with some of his shots going wild.

"Tough to explain but I hope Day 2 offers better for me. It was really a difficult game I had overall but at the same time, I cannot be so disappointed with the score in Round 1. I will have to go back to the drawing board and re-strategize on where to attack so that I make the cut which is the goal," offered the 37-year-old whose last Safari Tour win came at the same ground a little over a fortnight ago.

Dismas Indiza, on +3 (74), made four birdie shots on holes 4, 5, 9, and 18, but his quest was marred by a double bogey on holes 8 and 10, as well as a bogey on hole 14.

The trio of Kenya Amateurs including Kenya Railways player John Lejirma alongside Josephat Rono and Isaac Makokha had a nightmare outing as well.

Captain Lejirma finished on +7(78) with most of his problems coming off the back nine with windy conditions also contributing to the behaviour of his ball. His shot selection was also a headache costing him a lower score on the board. His counterparts, Rono with +9 (80) and Makokha with +10 (81), also struggled with a distinctly short game, resulting in scores at the finish that were far from appealing.

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