Thika Sports Club’s Peter Rimui over came the strong wind to post level par 71 at the tough Mombasa Golf Club course, to grab a one shot lead half way through the 2017 Coast Open Golf Championship on Saturday.
The handicap two Rimui started well, posting a bogey-free three over par first nine that included birdies at the second, eighth and ninth. He, however, double-bogeyed the par four-15th, having also picked up bogeys at the 10th and 13th with the only birdie at the 11th to lead Vet Lab Sports Club’s Mike Kisia and Royal Nairobi’s Dennis Saikwa by one shot at the close of the morning session.
Saikwa was one under par until he missed a one footer for a par at the 18th green.
“I did not hit it firm enough and made it go off the target but I am still very happy with my round today. The course is fine particularly the greens, but one has to be mindful of the wind on this course,” said Saikwa, who had birdied the fourth, sixth and ninth at the front nine and the 11th and 17th holes for the day’s one over par 72.
Kisia birdied the second, 11th and 13th and dropped two shots at the fourth hole, 10th and 15th. The two were a shot better than Kevin Juma of Royal Nairobi, who despite starting with a double at the first hole, and three other single bogeys elsewhere, fired two over par 73 to remain in close contact with the leaders as three others including Nyali’s Gurbux Singh, Kiambu’s Michael Karanga and Railway’s Alfred Nandwa shot four over par 75 to also join the leaderboard.
“I made a few bad shots on both the first and second nine and otherwise my game was fine,” said Nandwa.
Meanwhile, a shot behind the three was Ruiru Sports Club’s Chris Anbdrea and and Ben Omondi who fired five over par 76. Half of the field was still on course battling it out. A field of 101 players was drawn in this year’s tournament which marks its 95th anniversary and is sponsored by Crown Paints, Jimmy Mbugua and Crown Beverages.
The second and final round is set for Sunday where the leaders will be chasing so far the lowest aggregate fired by South Africa-based Mathew Wahome of Nyali in 2014 where he also became the youngest player at 16 years to win the historic event.