Barely six hours after the four-day Karen Masters teed off yesterday, Zimbabwe’s Ryan Cairns savoured the winnings of the Sunshine Tour sanctioned tournament as he clinched the Hole-in-One car, a brand new three-litre 16 valve Toyota Land Cruiser Prado valued at Sh10.3million.
The Royal Harare Golf Club pro fired a six-iron, a distance of 317m, into the per three fifth, which is the official designated Hole-In-One of the 2018 Karen Masters to win the car, donated by Toyota Kenya, valued at four times the prize money set for the tournament winner.
“It is a very special day for me. I never imagined I could hit the hole in one especially on the first day and started playing even better after that,” said Cairns, who finished day one on level par 72.
In the first day dominated by South African golfers, Stefan Andersen was the best placed Kenyan, finishing the day at four under par 68. The South Africa-based, Els Club, Copperleaf player, currently playing in the Sunshine Tour, posted seven birdies and three bogeys for his final round one score.
“I am satisfied with the score, though I feel I could have played better. I have had a lot of exposure in the Sunshine Tour for the last six years and that has come in handy. In the remaining rounds, I will take it easy and just play my game. I am not competing against other Kenyans as I think as a country we should play as a team,” said Andersen.
Sigona’s Mohit Mediratta fired home four birdies and picked a bogey in hole nine par four to end the round at three under 69, as the second best placed Kenyan on the course.
Thika’s Simon Ngige, Nelson Mudanya and Erick Ooko also managed a one under par 71 to finish above the predicted cut. They all promised to try and up heir tempo today and ensure more Kenyans make the cut.
South Africa’s Merrick Bremner took a one-shot lead on the first round to headline the field of 156 golfers. He fired an impressive round of seven under par 65 after posting seven birdies, two bogeys and managing an eagle on the par four hole 13.
Bremner’s closest challenger is compatriot Anton Haig who went to bed with a six under par 66 score.