Golf Golf

Stone catapults to top, locals disappoint


STONE-OPENNAIROBI, April 12- Dismas Indiza Anyonyi continues to be the highest placed Kenyan in the field after a 70 saw him climb into a share of tenth with the Barclays Kenya Open title seemingly out of reach for a 21st year as Brandon Stone climbed to the overall lead on Saturday.

One South African replaced another at the summit of the European Challenge Tour season’s opener at Karen Country Club when Stone fired a five under par 67 to move to 14 under for the tournament heading to the last day Sunday.

He holds the narrowest advantage over compatriot, and overnight leader, Haydn Porteous, who showed great character in bouncing back from three consecutive bogeys to start his round on Saturday, to eventually sign for a level par 72.

Dutchman Daan Huizing and Sam Walker are in a tie for third, two strokes behind Stone, while the latter’s fellow Englishman, George Woolgar, and first round leader José-Felipe Lima of Portugal are also within striking distance at 11 under.

In his third season as a professional, the 21 year old Stone admits to feeling much more settled into life in the paid ranks, and it showed on day three.

“That is the best round I have played in the last 18 months,” said Stone, who finished in a tie for tenth on his professional debut at the 2013 BMW International Open won by fellow South African Ernie Els. “I got off to a terrible start today, bogeying the first, but thankfully I managed to make a few birdies on the way in.

The former amateur star started the season wanting to build on those results and take every advantage of his Challenge Tour opportunities, and what finer way to start the campaign for Stone than another South African win in Kenya.

“I’m going to work really hard and do what I can to make sure I can get one of those 15 European Tour cards at the end of the year. Now, though, I just want to focus on getting in the right mind set, stay nice and relaxed, and shoot the lowest score possible tomorrow.

With South African’s enjoying the Kenyan sun, local heroes once again flattered to deceive as Indiza, who was 13th overall last year firing one under after two successive days of 3 under 69 in his first 36 holes.

Brian Njoroge who followed him on the domestic front fired a 2 over 74 to drop seven places down the grid on par for the tournament propped by countryman Matthew Omondi, the third Kenyan who made the cut who had a abysmal day at the course when he shot an eight over for the day for six over for the Open on 222 after 54 holes.

 -Material from used for this report