International pros grab final Open slots
4 months ago, 19 Mar 15:14
Frenchman Victor Riu fired an impressive six under par 66 despite the morning rain, to seal one of the three 2018 Barclays Kenya Open slots in the pre-qualifying round at Vet Lab Sports Club on Monday. However, for the second and third slots, three players namely Sweden’s Niclas Johanson Portugal's Pedro Figueredo and Mateusz Gradecki of Poland, had to go for a sudden death play-off after tying on three under par 69. Johanson and the Portugese Figueiredo managed secure the last two slots in the play-off, joining Riu in the starting list of Thursday’s first round of the Open at Muthaiga Golf Club. Gradecki will however, be the first reserve just in case of a cancellation among those listed to play. England’s Samuel Robertshawe and Ireland’s Gary Hurley will be second and third reserve. They both fired two under par 70 in the pre-qualifier, which attracted a field of 33 players, including a handful of local pros, whose best performance was a two over par 74 by Muthaiga’s Nelson Mudanyi. However, back in the play off, Niclas holed a birdie on the third hole, while Pedro parred at the fifth to claim the third position. Of the locals, Anil Shah shot three over par 75, while the going was even tougher for Ugandans Brian Toolit and Abby Bagalana who shot 78 and 83. The locals and the Ugandans were not the only ones who had it rough as three-time Challenge Tour Champion, Alvaro Velasco, former European Tour Champion Oliver Wilson, and current Cape Town Open Champion, Rhys Enoch, also failed to qualify with each posting 80, 71 and 72 point scores respectively. Speaking at the end of the event, Kenya Open Tournament Director, Patrick Obath, said competition witnessed points to the level and quality of golf expected during this year’s Kenya Open. “The competition we witnessed today confirms the level and quality of golf we expect to see at this year’s Barclays Kenya Open and I believe that fans will have a great chance to watch high quality golf that we believe will be different from the previous years,' he said.
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