Simon Ngige’s first round four under par (-4) in the first round of this year’s Barclays Kenya Open, is not just an inspiration his compatriots, but also a likely crowd puller for the next three days of the Open at Muthaiga Golf Club.
As it is always the case in the Open, the crowd builds up tremendously after a Kenyan features close to the summit of the leader board after Day 1.
One of the three Kenyans who made the round two cut at Karen in 2016, Ngige played conservatively, trying to protect par, a plan that saw him firing a total of seven birdies in all with only three bogeys, two at the difficult first nine and one at the back nine.
“I had all my plans working though I pulled left at the sixth on my approach, didn’t have a good chip, then hit a bad driver at the eighth hole while my approach shot went to the right bunker at the 14th, ’’ he told www.kenya-opengolf.com
He said he was very familiar with the Muthaiga course which he said requires one to keep it straight in order to avoid problems.
“I will approach the second round with the same plan but at the same time try to avoid bogeys, ’’added Ngige, a member of Thika Sports Club who has won many numerous local titles over the past six years.
With his 67, Ngige was just three shots off the leader Jaco Ahlers from South Africa, a European Tour player, who shot seven under par 64.
His fellow Kenyans; Stefan Andersen, Richard Ainley, long hitter Dismas Indiza and Tony Omuli are also had a good Day showing. Andersen and Ainley fired 71 each as Indiza, who had a bad back nine, and Tony Omuli shot one over par 72 each.