Kenya’s John Wangai, Jastas Madoya and Edwin Mudanyi will be hard pressed to up their game tomorrow in the final round at the 21st Cote D’Ivoire Open chasing for a respectable finish and a decent return on investment from their West Africa adventure.
The trio failed to charge up the leaderboard in today’s penultimate round. Sigona’s CJ Wangai is the highest placed Kenyan sitting in position 21 after today’s one under par 71 round left him on two over gross one stroke ahead of compatriot Mudanyi whose level par round today left him in position T22. Madoya shot three over par 75 to drop to position 27 as the Kenyans struggled cope in the high temperatures.
“I had a good round today. I could have finished with a better score since I was three under par with three holes to play,” said Mudanyi who got a precious a hole-in-one.
Despite being bogged down by the effects of inactivity back at home following the ban on all sporting activities, the trio did well to make the cut in a field of 67 players drawn from 12 countries. The event with Kshs 1.1 million prize money has proved to be a good hunting for Safari Tour players led by Zimbabwean Robson Chinhoi who is in T2 position on -12. Others are Nigerian Andrew Odoh who is fifth on -9, sixth placed Willy Gift (-8) and Visitor Mapwanya in T8 on -5.
“I am happy with the progress so far. I started slowly on the opening day but I am getting better. My plan is to go aggressive tomorrow and finish in the red numbers,” said Wangai who sunk five birdies today.
On the international scene, the Zurich Classic 2021 event got underway last night with surprise Norwegian pair Viktor Hovland and Kris Ventura sharing the lead with the US pair of Brice Garnett and Scott Stallings after shooting -10 in the opening round four-ball format.
In a tough opening day round in which none of the 80 teams shot over par, the top of the leaderboard is congested with the co-leaders separated by only one stroke from seven teams behind. Defending champions John Rahm/Ryan Palmer overcame a slow start to card a combined seven-under 65 to finish tied-16th. Six teams are tied on -8.
Today’s round will be played using the Foursomes format after which the field will be reduced to 33 teams and ties. Follow all the Zurich Classic 2021 action live on DStv or stream matches on the DStv App.
DAY ONE LEADERBOARD
Hovland/ Ventura -10
Garnett/ Stallings -10
Oosthuizen/ Schwartzel -9
Lee/ Stanley -9
Horschel/ Burns -9
Leishman/ Smith -9
Hubbard/ Cappelen -9
Bradley/ Steele -9
Champ/ Finau -9