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After Chinoi scratched for a bogey on par-4 Hole No.1, the 2020 champion Chinhoi was four-under at halfway stage after he had carded thanks to birdies on Holes par-5 No.2 and No.8 as well as par-4s No.3, No.5 and No.6.
Zimbabwean Robson Chinhoi is setting the pace after his solid round of three-under 69 gave him an opening three-shot lead at the 17th Tusker Malt Uganda Professionals Golf Open in Kigo.
Chinhoi arrived at the Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort & Spa with some attention owing to his recent form. And he duly lived up to it with a fine start at the par-72 course on the shores of Africa’s biggest freshwater lake.
“I am feeling good, great,” said Chinhoi shortly after putting at the par-5 Hole No.18 green. The Royal Harare Club player has featured in eight tournaments this year and won the Kinshasa Open and Lubumbashi Open events in the DR Congo.
He flew in with a 100 percent scorecard of successful cuts made in all and at Kigo, Chinhoi had an electric start on Wednesday.
After he scratched for a bogey on par-4 Hole No.1, the 2020 champion Chinhoi was four-under at halfway stage after he had carded thanks to birdies on Holes par-5 No.2 and No.8 as well as par-4s No.3, No.5 and No.6.
On the next nine holes, Chinhoi shot to five-under after an eagle on par-5 Hole No.13 but he would rue bogeys on the short par-3 Holes No.11 and No.15 as well as the long par-4 Hole No.16.
“I have started well but I think I got tired on the back nine. I think I need to eat well and get more fluids in the body and be more patient,” he remarked.
“On Hole No.1, I had bad decision making. On Hole No.15, I plugged it, No.11, No.16 and No.17, I three-putted and that cost me so much,” Chinhoi added.
Regardless, he is confident of racking up a second title on his fifth successive appearance at this Open.
Chinhoi is followed by the Kenyan pair of Samuel Njoroge and record five-time Open winner Dismas Indiza who both carded rounds of level-par 72.
“The round was good but I did not enjoy the course,” Indiza reacted. “The course was terrible, putting, pin positioning was tough,” said the man based in Mumias.
Indiza is the Kigo course record holder having carded nine-under 63 in 2019. The 54-year-old who turned pro in 1998 yesterday made only four birdies on Holes No.1, No.5, No.8 and No.13.
The man who now plays at Kakamega Golf Club was left scratching his head over the bogeys on Holes No.3 and No.6 as well as the double-bogey on the par-3 Hole No.7
“On No.3, I was short of the fairway. On No.6 and No.7, I was on the green and pin position was tough. I three-putted but everything else is okay,” added Indiza.
Seven other men are tied in fourth place on one-over 73 including the leading Ugandans in Grace Kasango from Jinja, Ronald Rugumayo of Uganda Golf Club and Zimbabwe-born Visitor Mapwanya.
17TH TUSKER MALT UGANDA GOLF OPEN
DAY ONE LEADERBOARD
1 Robson Chinhoi (ZIM) 69
T2 Dismas Indiza (KEN) 72
T2 Samuel Njoroge (KEN) 72
T4 Nyasha Muyambo (ZIM) 73
T4 Njuguna Ngugi (KEN) 73
T4 Robinson Owiti (KEN) 73
T4 Grace Kasango (UGA) 73
T4 Ronald Rugumayo (UGA) 73
T4 Kamalu Bako (NIG) 73
T4 Visitor Mapwanya (UGA) 73