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Kenya: Malawian Paul Chidale Grabs Lead in Safari Tour

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Leading Malawian pro Paul Chidale shot an impressive round of four under par 68 to grab a first round lead as the Safari Tour season four got under way at the par 72 Sigona Golf Club course on Sunday.

Starting from the back nine, Chidale, who has been preparing for the tour over the past four weeks, picked up two birdies at the 10th and 11th, and at the 15th and 17th for a bogey-free four under par back nine.

“I had a perfect start from the back nine and I think that contributed to my good performance. The course is in good shape and easy to score if you are able to read the greens well,” said Chidale, who said he will stay around and play in all the events in the tour, and made two bogeys at the front nine, but with two birdies at the second and sixth holes for a level par front nine.

He starts Monday’s second round a shot better than newcomer Tafara Mpofu from Zimbabwe, who bogeyed one hole at the front nine, but picked five birdies at the back starting with three back-to-back from the 10th to the 12th, and later at the 15th and 17th with only a bogey coming at the 14th for three under par 69.

Meanwhile, home players Njogu and Mohit Mediratta shot two under par 70 each to tie for the third place with Kenya Railway Golf Club’s Alfred Nandwa.

Playing his first event as a pro, Njogu, a former national caddies champion and based at the Great Rift Valley Golf Resort in Naivasha, started with a bogey at the first hole.

He however eagled the par five- fourth which triggered three birdies for a three under par first nine.

Birdies were however very elusive for him as he could only make eight pars and a bogey. Nandwa on the other hand made three birdies, two from the opening nine, and one at the back nine.

Mediratta made four birdies and three bogeys to also finish on two under par 70. Samuel Njoroge and Jeff Kubwa were the next lot in the leader board with one under par 71 each, just a shot from senior player Dismas Indiza who shot level par 72.

Sixty-one players turned up out of the initial entry of 63 players who included three amateurs. Greg Snow and amateur Zubair Khan did not show up.

Snow said he was forced to pull out because of a shoulder injury. The second round which will determine the top 20 who will proceed to the money list got off at 9am Monday.



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