Defending Champion Robson Chinhoi swaggered to the summit of the Uganda Open leaderboard after a blistering seven under par 64 round at the Entebbe Golf Club to dislodge overnight leader Jastas Madoya.
Starting the day three shots behind Madoya, Chinhoi went to down to business from the onset picking three shots with a string of back-to-back birdies in the opening three holes to make clear his intentions of retaining the title he won here last year. He went at the interval at -5 after carding another three birdies on the 6th, 7th and eighth. Two eagles, on the 15th and 18th par-5s, minimized the damage caused by a pair of bogeys on the 10th and 17th as the Zimbabwean strolled to the Clubhouse with a two shot lead.
Madoya will rue a moment of concentration lapse in the last three holes on the front nine where he picked three costly back-to-back bogeys that cost him momentum. The Great Rift player had started impressively with four priceless birdies in the opening six holes to stretch his lead but opened the window for the chasing pack with the erratic performance. He however atoned for the mistake with a good run on the back nine where he eagled the number 11 par-5 and birdied the 14th and 15th for a decent three under par on the back nine to remain firmly in contention.
Madoya will be counting on countryman Dismas Indiza, who shot two under par 69 today to move fourth position, in the Kenya-Zimbabwe duel. The rivalry between players from the two countries was made feisty after Zimbabwe’s Visitor Mapwanya shot two under par 69 to cling on to the podium places in third position.
It was a day of mixed fortunes for the Kenyan contingent as 13 players made the +4 cut, representing a 50% success rate as another 13 will be catching an early flight back to Nairobi. Apart from Madoya and Indiza, Tony Omuli’s two over par round today was enough to keep him in the top 10 while a late recovery by Jeff Kubwa and David Wakhu saw the duo also earn their tickets to the money spinning rounds. The other Kenyans who made cut include Jacob Okello, Greg Snow, Mike Kisia, Simon Ngige, Eric Ooko, Samuel Njoroge, Joseph Karanja and Edwin Mudanyi.
Among the biggest casualties include Safari Tour stars CJ Wangai and Tafaro Mpofu and Nyasha Muyambo from Zimbabwe.
The home players had a good day in office capturing five places in the top 10 in an offensive led by Philip Kasozi in fifth position and Deo Akope who’s fine outing of three under par 68 saw him climb to T7 on the leaderboard.
The 30 players who made cut will battle it out for the Kshs 3,2 million prize money and crucial points in the “Road to Magical Kenya” league which will see eight Kenyan pros and two foreign pros clinch slots to next year’s Magical Kenya Open.
LEADERBOARD DAY ONE
R Chinhoi -10
J Madoya -9
V. Mapwanya -6
D Indiza -4
P Kasozi -3
D Akope -2
R Rugumayo -2
J Seale -1
S Opio -1
S Wemba Par
A Omuli Par