Justus Madoya employed local knowledge to the fullest as he took a commanding three-shot lead on the opening day of the Safari Tour sixth leg at the Great Rift Valley Golf Resort in Naivasha. A near flawless round made up of seven birdies saw Madoya take the overnight lead with an impressive four under par 67 score.
After a perfect outing on the front nine, Madoya’s Cinderella run was almost brought to a screeching halt when he dropped four shots on the par four 13th and par 3 15th holes. “I am very happy with today’s performance. I put in a lot of work during the one-month break and I am happy with the outcome so far. The course is in perfect condition but I will stick to my conservative strategy off the tee,” said Madoya.
Local amateur Adel Balala stayed on course for an upset with an impressive one under par 70 to finish the day in second position. Two birdies on the front nine were enough to earn the Nyali Golf Club player bragging rights over the fancied senior pros, at least overnight.
It was a good day in office for visiting pros as Zimbabwe’s Robson Chinhoi and the Uganda duo of Abbey Bagalana and Deo Akope upstaged the locals to shut them out of the top 5 podium places. Fresh from his exploits at the Uganda Open, Chinhoi carded level par 71 to stay only four shots behind the overnight leader underlining the tournament favourite status billing. Bagalana, 71, and Akope 72, will be out to upset the form book as they hunt for maiden victories on the Tour.
Despite a slow start, Order of Merit leaders Greg Snow and Dismas Indiza booked their places in the top 10 carding 74 and 73 respectively. Starting the second day seven shots behind the leader, their work is well cut out as they race to clinch slots for Magical Kenya Open 2021.
A total of 45 players made the first round cut out of the field of 48 players. The field will be reduced to 20 players after tomorrow’s second round.
Justus Madoya -4
Adel Balala(A) -1
Robson Chinhoi (Zim) 0
Abbey Bagalana (UG) 0
Deo Akope +1
Dismas Indiza +2
Jacob Okello +2
Njuguna Ngugi +3
David Wakhu +3
Greg Snow +3