Voice of Sport

Mathew Wahome, due on tee at 12.40pm Friday, was toast of locals on opening day at Karen

Van Tonder and Moritz Lampert take early lead as five Kenyans among those with under par scores on Day One


YOUNG Kenyan amateur Mathew Wahome was the local toast on the opening day of the 2016 Barclays Kenya Open at Karen. His three under par round of 69 put him alongside fellow amateur, Frenchman Romain Langasque, among others in a share of ninth position at close of play.

German Moritz Lampert’s bogey-free round of 66 put him on six under par where he was soon joined by South African Danie van Tonder, one shot ahead of French duo Clément Berardo and Adrien Saddier as well as Sweden’s Sebastian Soderberg.

Mombasa

But it was a dream start for Wahome, an 18-year-old lad from Mombasa who spoke like an old hand saying: ““I’m very pleased. It was better than last year when I felt the pressure a little bit. This year I came here with my game plan and I managed to execute it perfectly today.

“My plan is to hit three woods off the tee and make fairways, make all the greens and then make a few putts — luckily today I holed a few putts to save par and it all worked out great.

Friendly

“It’s a really exciting week to have the Challenge Tour here, and I’m really pleased to be here for a second year — hopefully I can make the cut this time, that’s the plan anyway.

“I was definitely nervous — on my first tee shot I was basically shaking the whole time — but I talked to my caddie and my playing partners, who were so friendly, and it eased the pressure.”

Other Kenyans

There were four other Kenyans who went under of the opening day. Dismas Indiza Anyonyi, Kenya’s leading hope in the last few years matched Wahome three under and the rest were; Riz Charania (-2) and Brian Njoroge and David Odhiambo both on one under.

The 23-year-old German Lampert won three times in the 2014 Challenge Tour season to earn instant promotion to the European Tour, and he is keen for similar success this year.

Enjoying

“It’s good to be back,” he said. “Two years ago the Challenge Tour was the best season I have ever had so, though I would like to be on the European Tour, I’ve set my goals for this year and I’m enjoying it so let’s see what we can do.

“I feel really comfortable around here and I played quite a lot of practice  — 18 holes on Monday, 9 on Tuesday and then 18 in the Pro-Am — just to get a feeling of how far the ball goes and what it does out of the semi-rough.

Iron game

“The key today was that I putted well, I got a lot of up-and-downs that were quite important and if I hit more fairways in the next couple of days that will really help because my iron game is really good right now.”

As action continued on Day Two, Friday, at the ninth, Indiza was among the top players on the leader board. He was two under for the day with a total of five under. South Africa’s Jacques Blaauw who had a score of 68 on Day One was six under for the day after 12 holes and a total of -10] hoping to turn tables on Thursday leader  van Tonder who had two under par for the day after nine holes for a total eight under. Wahome was due on the tee at 12.

Top results Thursday (Day One):

1. Danie Van Tonder (Rsa) 66, -6

– Moritz Lampert (Ger) 66, -6

3.  Sebastian Soderberg (Swe) 67, -5

– Clément Berardo (Fra) 67, -5

– Adrien Saddier (Fra) 67, -5

6. Jacques Blaauw (Rsa) 68, -4

– Steven Jeppesen (Swe) 68, -4

– Simon Forsstrom (Swe) 68, -4

9. Mikael Lundberg (Swe) 69, -3

– Jimmy Mullen (Eng) 69, -3

– Garrick Porteous (Eng) 69, -3

– Sam Walker (Eng) 69, -3

– Alvaro Velasco (Esp) 69, -3

– James Robinson (Eng) 69, -3

– Damien Perrier (Fra) 69, -3

– Taco Remkes (Ned) 69, -3

– Dismas Indiza Anyonyi (Ken) 69, -3

– Romain Langasque (Am – Fra) 69, -3

Mathew Wahome (Am Ken -) 69, -3

20. Gabriel Axell (Swe) 70, -2

– Benjamin Rusch (Sui) 70, -2

– Erik Van Rooyen (Rsa) 70,-2

– Gary Hurley (Irl) 70,-2

– Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa) 70, -2

– Michael G Palmer (Rsa) 70, -2

Riz Charania (Ken) 70, -2

– Darius Van Driel (Ned) 70, -2

– Jens Dantorp (Swe) 70, -2

– Nico Geyger (Chi) 70, -2

– Scott Fernandez (Esp) 70, -2

– Oliver Farr (Wal) 70, -2

– Clément Sordet (Fra) 70, -2

– Merrick Bremner (Rsa) 70, -2

34. Paul Howard (Eng) 71, -1

– Philipp Mejow (Ger) 71, -1

– Matthieu Pavon (Fra) 71, -1

– Stiggy Hodgson (Eng) 71, -1

– Juan Sarasti (Esp) 71, -1

– Dylan Frittelli (Rsa) 71, -1

– Teemu Bakker (Fin) 71, -1

– Alexander Knappe (Ger) 71, -1

– Bernd Ritthammer (Ger) 71, -1

– Sam Hutsby (Eng) 71, -1

Brian Njoroge (Ken) 71, -1

– Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (Fra)

– Tom Murray (Eng) 71, -1

David Odhiambo (Ken) 71,-1

– Gareth Shaw (Nir) 71, -1

– Dave Coupland (Eng) 71, -1

– Ricardo Santos (Por) 71, -1

– Joël Stalter (Fra) 71, -1

– Daan Huizing (Ned) 71, -1

– Lorenzo Gagli (Ita) 71, -1

– Additional reporting by europeantour.com