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Ooko, Snow lead field in round three at Royal

By Lynette Matheka
Wednesday, October 14th, 2020
Erick Ooko takes a swing during the Safari Tour series at the Royal Nairobi Golf Club yesterday. Photo/PD/ALEX NJUE
In summary

Golf Park’s Erick Ooko played a better round of golf in the second round at Safari Tour series’ second leg going on at the par 72 Royal Nairobi to return a score of two under par 70. 

He made an early birdie at the par five-second and went two-under attack the second par five-seventh.

He then picked a birdie at the par four-11th. After remaining steady at three under until the 18th, he made a poor chip to drop his only shot of the day.  

Ooko had levelled the course in the first round played on Monday to close the day tied at fourth place. 

His Tuesday exploits saw him move top to tie with Greg Snow with a score of two under par 142 and will lead the field of 24 golfers who made the cut in the third round.  

“The course is playing well and the greens are good.  However, I struggled with my putting and I hope to putt better in the remaining two rounds.

I did not have much confidence in myself when I teed off in the first round on Monday but I collected myself on Tuesday and played better. 

I missed the cut in the first leg held in Limuru so this is an improvement,” said the former Royal Nairobi player who has since moved to Golf Park.   

On his part,  Muthaiga’s Snow is hoping for a repeat of the first leg where he recovered from a shaky first round to win the leg played at Limuru Golf Club. 

At Royal,  Snow returned a three under par 69, in round two yesterday, for a combined two under par 142. 

“My ball striking was really on yesterday, I hit 15 of 18 greens and gave myself plenty of chances.

I felt like I could have gone lower as I have not holed putts these two rounds. 

With good striking,  one has a chance to pick birdies on all holes here.  In the next two rounds I will try hole as many putts as possible. 

I have not putted badly but I feel I have not adjusted to the pace of the greens yet as they are very inconsistent,” said Snow.  

He continued, “Playing week in,week out does not affect me.  I think it is just a matter of knowing how to prepare and what to do after the previous event so that you don’t burn out. 

I feel fresh and fit having not played since March so there is no excuse not to play well.”  

Two junior amateurs, Mutahi Kibugi  and Adel Balala, made the seven over par 151 cut and will battle it out along with the surviving pros in the remaining two rounds. 

Kibugu shot one under par 71 to tie for third place with Zimbabwe’s Robson Chinhoi and former Kenya Amateur Golf Championship (KAGC) series champion Samuel Njoroge who also shot one under par 71 for a two round total of 143.

Day one leader John Wangai made six bogeys with only two birdies, to drop to sixth place on level par 144 after a 75 in the second round.

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