Kenya Golf Guide

Golf Park’s Naomi Wafula in action on the second round of the Magical Kenya Ladies Open at the PGA Baobab Course in Kilifi.


Sweden’s Julia Engström had a near-perfect day on the second day of the Kenya Ladies Open, dropping only one shot and holing seven birdies to return an impressive score of 6-under par 66. Her stunning performance takes her total score, after 36 holes, to 11-under par 133, opening up a comfortable six-shot lead at the top.

Julia, who started her round from the tenth tee in the morning, got off to consecutive birdies at the par-4 10th and the par-5 11th before holing consecutive birdies at the par-4 13th and the par-4 14th. She holed the only bogey of the round at the par-4 16th to card a back nine total of 33. On the front nine, she played exceptionally well, holing birdies at the par-3 fourth, the par-5 sixth and the par-4 ninth to card a total of 33.

Speaking after the round, the 2018 Ladies European Tour Rookie of the Year said she was happy with her performance, adding that she is enjoying her first visit to Kenya.

I started off well and made four birdies in the last five holes. I didn’t hole that many putts in the middle of the round, but I finished off well. I hit more greens today, so I’m happy with my round,” she said.

It is my first time in Kenya and I’m really enjoying it. It is quite hot but it’s pretty cold in Sweden right now so I’m enjoying the last sunshine of the year,” she added.

Asked whether she had started entertaining the possibility of this event being her first Tour victory, she said: “It would be great. Obviously, it is golf, and anything can happen. It is a tough course; we are playing it long and you need to play decent. I’m happy with my two days and I had a good weekend in Spain.”

With her second-round performance, Julia established a comfortable lead over the three nearest tied challengers, Kelsey Macdonald of Scotland, Ursula Wikström of Finland and Germany’s Esther Henseleit, who ended their round with 5-under par 139 scores from the two rounds.

Kelsey, who started her round at the tenth, carded a superb back nine total of 31, having holed birdies at the par-5 11th, the par-4 13th, par-4 14th, par-3 17th and the par-4 18th. On the front nine, she carded a total of 37 having dropped shots at the fifth and seventh holes yet hitting a birdie at the second hole. Hers was a step up in performance from yesterday where she returned a 1-under par 71 score after 18 holes.

Speaking after her round, Kelsey said: “I hit it great off the tee, gave myself a lot of chances and my putting was really solid today. It was great to get out in the first group when it was a little less humid. I’m just really happy with my performance today.”

On her part, Ursula handed in a blemish-free scorecard with a 36 on the back nine having held par on all holes. It is at the front nine where she found form, holing birdies at the second, fourth, eighth and ninth holes for a total of 32.

The 2019 Ladies European Tour Rookie of the Year, Esther Henseleit, played a bogey-free round, holing birdies at the par-4 seventh and the par-5 15th to card a 2-under par 70 score for the round. The 20-year-old German national, who turned pro this year, has had an impressive record on the Tour, sealing 10 top-ten finishes in 18 tournaments. She is currently second in the LET Order of Merit and is poised to pick up a decent number of points if she maintains her form.

Meanwhile, the trio of Scotland’s Michelle Thompson, Finland’s Sanna Nuutinen and the USA’s Cheyenne Woods finished the round tied in fifth with 4-under par 140 scores -seven shots off the lead. Both Michelle and Sanna played rounds of 68 while Cheyenne carded a round of 70 –an identical score from yesterday’s round.

Speaking after the round, Cheyenne said she felt confident in her game adding that she aims to play well tomorrow so as to be in the final group on Sunday.

Same score as yesterday, but I did play very different. We played afternoon tee time, so it was a lot windier. The course played completely differently so I have to make some adjustments but, overall, my game feels really solid. I was able to get a few birdies in there and an eagle, so it felt pretty good,” she said.

Speaking about her eagle putt at the 15 hole, she said: “If you hit a good drive on that hole, you can get down far enough to be in reach of the green in two. It played straight down wind today, so I had a seven iron into the green and I hit to about 25 feet and made the putt for eagle; so that was definitely a nice little momentum boost going into the stretch of the round.”

A total of 70 players made the Cut – which was set at 7-over par – to play in the remaining two rounds. Golf Park’s elite amateur, Naomi Wafula, and Nyali Golf Club’s pro, Bhavi Shah –who were only Kenyans left in the field- missed the Cut after they posted 13-over par 157 and 23-over par 167 scores respectively after the two rounds.

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