By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Mar 17, 2016
Moritz Lampert and Danie Van Tonder took charge on the first day of the new European Challenge Tour season as they shared a one shot lead at the Barclays Kenya Open after the opening round.
Another player who caught the eye on Thursday was Kenyan amateur Mathew Wahome, whose three under par round of 69 put him alongside fellow amateur, Dismas Indiza, among others in a share of ninth position. Local Riz Charania followed closely after posting a two under par round of 70.
Lampert’s bogey-free round of 66 put him on six under par where he was soon joined by South African van Tonder, one shot ahead of French duo Clément Berardo and Adrien Saddier as well as Sweden’s Sebastian Soderberg.
German Lampert – who gave a guided tour to Nairobi’s Karen Country Club earlier in the week – 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.
“It’s good to be back,” said the 23 year old.
“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.
“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."
Wahome's impressive start
Wahome started his round on the 10th tee and made two quick birdies on the par-4 10th and par-4 12th. However, he dropped shots on the easy and short par-3 14th and the long and challenging par-3 16th to finish the back nine on level gross 36.
On the first tee, he found the right rough and a quick bogey followed, however the young man from Mombasa quickly corrected his boat and made three birdies in a row from the 2nd to 4th holes. He followed that with a string of pars and closed the round with a birdie on the par-4 9th and an impressive score of 3-under par 69.
Wahome’s impressive start at the tournament further underpins the versatile and exciting nature of the Kenyan Open Championship that makes it the best golf annual occasion in Eastern Africa. Local favorite professionals Jacob Okello(one over par), Brian Njoroge(one under par) and Greg Snow play in the afternoon and are further expected to fly Kenya’s flag high in the tournament.
“I’m very pleased,” said the 18 year old from Mombasa. “It was better than last year when I felt the pressure a little bit but this year I came here with my game plan and I managed to execute it perfectly today.
“My plan is to hit three wood off the tee and make fairways, make all the greens and then make a few putts – luckily I holed a few putts to save par and it all worked out great. “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.”
Compiled from Europen tour