Kenyan duo make cut as Schmitt takes charge at Kenya Open


Mohit Mediratta from Kenya follows his tee during the Barclays Kenya Open Golf championship at ...
Mohit Mediratta from Kenya follows his tee during the Barclays Kenya Open Golf championship at Muthaiga Golf club on March 23, 2018. Photo/Oliver Ananda/Sportpicha

In Summary

  • Mohit Mediratta and Riz Charania are the only Kenyans who survived the cut as German Max Schmitt ascended to the top of the Kenya Open leaderboard as Round 2 concluded at the Muthaiga Golf Club on Friday evening
  • Sigona’s Mediratta started the Day 2- under but dropped shots on the 1st, 5th and 6th holes before making amends with birdies on the 3rd and the 7th, and went on to eagle at hole 18 after three more birdies at the 10th, 15th and 17th. Thus, he sealed an under -1 par 70, ahead of the third Round

Mohit Mediratta and Riz Charania are the only Kenyans who survived the cut as German Max Schmitt ascended to the top of the Kenya Open leaderboard as Round 2 concluded at the Muthaiga Golf Club on Friday evening.

Sigona’s Mediratta started the Day 2- under but dropped shots on the 1st, 5th and 6th holes before making amends with birdies on the 3rd and the 7th, and went on to eagle at hole 18 after three more birdies at the 10th, 15th and 17th. Thus, he sealed an under -1 par 70, ahead of the third Round.

Charania’s four bogeys at the first, sixth, 13th and 17th almost dropped him from the projected cut, but an eagle at the 10th and two birdies at the seventh and at the 17th made all the difference, ending up with a level par.

A third Kenyan prospect on the money strut Alfred Nandwa lost rhythm in his second turn where two double bogeys at the second and seventh holes overshadowed his remarkable start. Starting at the 10th tee, the Railways Club man hit four birdies blemished by three bogeys.

Man of the day

Max Schmitt from Kenya follows his tee from the green during the Barclays Kenya Open Golf championship at Muthaiga Golf club on March 23, 2018. Photo/Oliver Ananda/Sportpicha.com

The man of the day Schmitt, hit a whopping seven birdies, with a single bogey at the 10th hole his only undoing as he recorded an under -6 par 65.

He bettered his previous day’s run first round, from an under -4 par 67, placing him among the men to watch for the 11 million grand prize on Sunday.

“It was a perfect round. I had just the one bogey, which wasn’t nice, but I came back with a lot of birdies after that so I am quite pleased right now. I really got going over the back nine. Although I started with a bogey on ten, which was disappointing as it is quite an easy hole, I had a great run of birdies – which was unbelievable, told the German.

He noted he is keen to keep his lead to the last day, underscoring his ball striking in the course is getting better every day.

“It’s really great to be leading. I am really excited for the next two days as I don’t think the first two could have got any better. My ball striking is really good right now, my wedge shots have been pure. I hit only one bad wedge shot today, and apart from that I have been putting everything within ten feet.

“I’m not really used to being in the lead but I am going to try everything to stay at the top of the leaderboard. I did win three times last year though which I think will help me over the weekend. It is a very big event which I really want to win,” a confident Schmitt offered.

Teeing In the dark

Kristian K Johannessen follows his shot (PHOTO/Courtesy/Simon Jensen)

But it was Norwegian Kristian Krogh Johannessen who ruled the course for the better part of the day, only to be toppled by the 20-year old German towards the close of business.

“It was definitely a round of two halves. I teed off really early this morning so I was playing my first couple of shots in the dark, but that seemed to work well as I managed to eagle my first hole. I could barely see the ball, maybe I should play more in the dark!

“I kept that momentum going throughout my first nine but I did find it a lot tougher over the next nine. There was a break of about 20 minutes between each nine holes where I did lose a bit of rhythm,” averred Johannessen, keeping faith to better his performance come Saturday.

According to Johannessen, conditions got tougher as the day went on. By the time he turned after the first nine, it was very still but towards the end of the round it did pick up as he expected.

“This is a huge week, with it being the biggest event on the Challenge Tour, so it is really important to play well. If you win here you take a huge step towards the European Tour, so I am really pleased with how well I have played.

“Although I could see my name at the top of the leaderboard I didn’t let it affect me. I just tried to focus on each shot and not let it get to my head. It is great to get going again after a long off-season and I am excited for the weekend,” he added.

First Round leaders, Scott Ross Kellett and Englishman Max Orrin dropped off pace, but the latter is keeping up at the top six.

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Story By Jacob Icia
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