Kenyan professional golfers got off well during the opening round of the inaugural Malawi Open at the par 72 Lilongwe Golf Club course on Thursday.
At least three of them finished in the top five in the leader board at the close of the day in the $50,000 (Sh5 million ) prize tourney, where Zambia’s Kelly Tembo grabbed a one-shot lead with a three under par 69 after rolling in a number of birdies on the tight course.
Leading the nine Kenya pros, who eventually travelled to Lilongwe out of the original list of 11 pros, was Sigona Golf Club’s Sujan Shah, who shot two under par 70 with the long hitter Dismas Indiza just breathing fire behind on one under 71 to stay in close contact with the overnight night leader.
To join Shah and Indiza at the top five was Simon Ngige of Thika Sports club, who closed the day on level par 72.
Four other players including Kenya’s Erick Ooko were on one over par 73, while Tony Omuli posted two over par 74 to complete the top 10 in tie with Swaziland’s Jame Pennington, Nyasha Muyambo of Zimbabwe and Zambia’s Dyne Moore.
It was however a bad start for one of Kenya’s leading pro Greg Snow, who shot six over par 78 to tie with South Africa-based Kenyan Stefan Andersen in 25th place, though they all still have good chances of moving to the top, depending on what they will be able to produce in Friday’s second round, where the top 30 players will proceed to last two rounds at the weekend.