It was a bad day in office for Kenyan pros as 60 percent of the players that entered the Uganda Open were sent home today, empty handed, after failing to make the +8 par 155 cut on the second day of the event.
This happened as Zimbabwe’s Robson Chinhoi set the tournament alight with a blistering second round of six under par 66 to storm the top of the leaderboard, seven shots ahead of the chasing pack.
Kenya’s strong contingent of 27 had entered the tournament full of optimism but sadly, majority of the players failed to master the wet conditions at Uganda Golf Club in Kitante. Samuel Njoroge was the best performer moving two places up the leaderboard for T2 with Uganda’s Deo Akope after a solid round of one under par 71, the second best in the field today. Njoroge has the unenviable task of trying to catch up with Chinhoi as the tournament enters the third day tomorrow.
Mike Kisia also put some shine to an otherwise gloomy day for Kenyans after he carded one under par 71 to jump up the leaderboard T6 with countryman Dismas Indiza. David Wakhu maintained his place in the top 10 T6 despite carding two over par 74. Eric Ooko, Edwin Mudanyi and Greg Snow occupy the remaining top 10 places at T10.
Defending Champion Madalitso Mathiya of Zambia continues to fade while multiple winner Indiza’s quest for a seventh title is increasingly becoming tougher. A two over par 74 round today dealt a body blow to Mathiya’s chances of retaining the title as he dropped to T4, eight shots behind the leader. Indiza’s round of 72 was a two shot improvement on yesterday’s performance and might just give him the much-needed boost to play aggressively in the remaining rounds.
The challenge by Uganda pros also seems to be running out of steam with only three players featuring in the top 10 down from six on the opening day.
35 players made the cut after the opening two rounds. The surprise package in the mix is newcomer George Felix of Kenya Railways Golf Club. Having failed to make cut in the opening four legs of Safari Tour this season, qualifying for the weekend rounds in Kampala, thanks to a one over par 73 round today, is no mean feat for the soft-spoken golfer. Muthaiga’s Jeff Kubwa will be another rare contender in the weekend rounds following his encouraging round of 73 today.
The sibling act continues as the Mudanyi brothers, Nelson and Edwin, joined the Wangais, John and Samuel in the weekend rounds. A special mention also goes out to the youthful Mathew Wahome and namesake Mathew Omondi for making the cut.
1 CHINHOI ROBSON (ZIM) 137
2 SAMUEL NJOROGE 144
2 AKOPE DEO (UG) 144
4 KASOZI PHILLIP (UG) 145
4 MUTHIYA MADALITSO (ZAM) 145
6 KISIA MIKE 146
6 INDIZA DISMAS 146
6 RUGUMAYO RONALD (UG) 146
6 WAKHU DAVID 146
10 OBURA OOKO ERIC 147
10 INANA MUDANYI E. 147
10 SNOW GREG 147