Voice of Sport

Indiza, Njoroge, Ngige local hopes as South African Blaauw takes lead at Karen

The Kenyan trio to continue with play will maintain the interest of the locals who are attending in their thousands and enjoying superb weather


DISMAS Indiza Anyonyi, Brian Njoroge and Simon Ngige survived foreign onslaught to make the cut for Saturday’s third round of the Barclays Kenya Open at Karen.

Meanwhile South Africans continued their stranglehold over the Open as Jacques Blaauw and Danie Van Tonder climbed to the top of the halfway leader board on Friday, one year after Haydn Porteous’ breakthrough victory in this event.

Hunting ground

The European Challenge Tour’s season-opener has often proven to be a happy hunting ground for South Africans, with three of the last five winners hailing from there. Van Tonder shared the first round lead but slipped back into a tie for second place with Sebastian Soderberg on nine under par as they were overtaken by Blaauw, whose six under par round of 66 put him one shot clear.

For Kenyans, the presence of Indiza inside the top ten offered much to cheer, the 47 year old veteran of 16 previous Kenyan Opens using his experience and local knowledge to go into the third round on five under par. Two of his compatriots, Simon Ngige and Brian Njoroge, also made the cut, which fell at level par, with 74 professionals and one amateur — Frenchman Romain Langasque, three weeks before he tees it up at the Masters Championship — making it through to the weekend.

Superb weather

The Kenyan trio to continue with play will maintain the interest of the locals who are attending in their thousands and enjoying superb weather. Indiza finished Friday’s round with a 2-under par 70 score to take his total for the tournament to 5-under par 139 to finish top ten; while Njoroge scored a 1-under par score 71 to finish the day with a 2-under par 142 score. Ngige scored a 1-under par score 71 to wrap the day with a 1-under par 143 score.

Njoroge, who also also teed off from the 10th, started off with a bogey before parring the 11th, 12th and 13th before grabbing a birdie in the 14th and 15th and finally finishing his first nine with bogeys on the 17th and 18th to close with a score of 37 gross. He started the back nine with an eagle on the par-4 350 yards hole one before bogeying in hole two. He finished the back nine with a score of 34 gross for a round total of 71.

Back nine

gige wrapped the first nine with a with a score of 36 gross having parred in 7 holes, a birdie on the 18th and a bogey on the 14th. On the back nine, he closed with a score of 35 gross having parred in 8 holes and grabbing a bogey on the 3rd. He finished the day with a round total of 71.

Meanwhile, local junior sensation, Mathew Wahome, missed the cut after finishing the day with a 5-over par 77 score; from Thursday’s impressive start where he finished 3-under par 69.

Fun

The 30-year-old leader Blaauw said he was happy with his morning’s play: “I had some lucky breaks out there and made some good putts, so I’m quite happy with a 66.

“Making eagle early in the round is always nice. I chipped in on the 15th which was quite fun — it hit the hole right in the middle and just dropped, so that was great.

Fortunate

“My target this week is fairly simple: to get a top ten to get into the next tournament. Or even a win, that would be even nicer. This tournament has been pretty fortunate for South African golfers so I’ll try to keep the trend going.

“Haydn [Porteous] has done very well since last year, winning on The European Tour and showing it can be done.  I wasn’t actually too far behind him at the Jo’burg Open in the end.

Qualification

“That’s what we strive for, to get on The European Tour, so the Challenge Tour is my focus this year to try to achieve that aim.”

The cut was set at par for qualification into the third round.

Indiza, who teed off from the 10th, parred the first five holes before scoring bogeys in the 16th and 17th and finally grabbing a birdie on the 18th to close the opening nine with a score of 37 gross. He made amends in the 2nd, 3rd, 8th and 9th holes where he scored birdies to finish with a gross score of 33 and a round total of 70. He finished the day T-8 tied with French amateur Langasque.

– Additional reporting by europeantour.com