Magical Kenya Open 2024: Round 1 tournament overview

Thursday, February 22nd, 2024 20:44 | By
Magical Kenya Open 2024: Round 1 tournament overview
Mutahi Kibugu in action during the Magical Kenya Open 2024. PHOTO/Muthaiga Golf Club

European players dominated Day 1 of the 2024 Magical Kenya Open DP World Tour Championships ongoing at the Par 71 Muthaiga Golf Club.

Netherlands player Darius Van Driel,34, ranked 366th in the World, is very much in the running for the overall title come Sunday as he led the leaderboard with a score of -5(66) in impressive fashion and style. His composure and calmness were exceptional across the back and front with only a few errors in between with his shots.

Magical Kenya Open 2024: Kenyans struggle as Round 1 closes
Isaac Makokha in action at Muthaiga Golf Club course. PHOTO/Mediamax Digital

He had five birdies shots in holes 2,3 and 4 plus a sumptuous eagle in hole 10. He will be eying his maiden title come Sunday given his bright start on the Nairobi leg of the Tour.

Meanwhile, 29-year-old Scotsman Craig Dowie was also in the mix, tied for the lead with a score of -5(66) at the close. The World No. 654, who started play on the back nine, hit two birdie shots on holes 10 and 14 and one bogey on hole 11.

However, the greatest success of his day was four birdie strikes on holes 2, 3, 4, and 8. He is also eyeing his first DP World Tour title.

Daniel Nduva
Daniel Nduva. PHOTO/@KenyaOpenGolf/X

There was a four-tie in third place in what was a sensational finishing from the four players. Frenchman Frederic LaCroix -4(67), Scottish player Connor Syme-4(67), Dutchman Daan Huizing -4(67) and 22-year-old South African Ryan Van Velzen-4(67) are also in the running for the 2024 edition Championship in Kenya.

Meanwhile, seven players closed the Day 1 tied in third place with a score of -3(68). Of this list, five were Europeans, one from Oceania, and one from Africa.

Leading the chase was Daniel Young, 29, of Scotland who managed five birdies in his game and only one bogie overall to stake a claim in a potential win era. Others who tied with him at the end of business today were; New Zealand player Sam Jones and 32-year-old Pieter Moolman of South Africa who was amongst the few players amongst the 144 starters to end minus a bogie shot.

Others on the list were Italian Lorenzo Scalise, Scandinavian duo of Goth Rasmussen of Denmark and Jesper Svensson of Sweden alongside Craig Howie of Scotland all ending on a score of -3(68).

Kenya's top performers of the day were home player Greg Snow who finished on a Par (71) score and Jastas Madoya on a score of +2(73).

Notably, Kenya Breweries Limited’s Jonnie Walker has sponsored three Kenyan pro golfers in the tournament. The players include; Dismas Indiza, Samuel Njoroge, and Greg Snow.

Leaderboard-Round 1

-Darius Van Driel -5(66)
-Frederic LaCroix -4(67)
-Connor Syme -4(67)
-Daan Huizing -4(67)
-Tapio Pulkannen -4(67)
-Ryan Van Velzen -4(67)
-Yannick Shuetz -4(67)

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