The first round of the Magical Kenya Ladies Open presented by Safaricom’s M-PESA is under way at Vipingo Ridge in Vipingo, Kenya, 30km north of Mombasa on the Mombasa-Malindi Highway.
England’s Liz Young, who started in the first pairing from the 10th at 7.30am, made a brilliant start and took the clubhouse lead on four-under-par 68.
Esther Henseleit, who needs a win to have a chance of winning the order of merit this week, then came in with a three under 69, while Cheyenne Woods is the next best placed player in the clubhouse on two under par.
Liz said afterwards that she had a scary start to the day when she found a massive spider, which looked like a Huntsman the size of her hand, in the shower.
“At 5.30am, I walked into the bathroom and there was the biggest huntsman spider in the shower, terrifying me. My roommate (Eleanor Givens) was still asleep so I had to be quiet. She has informed me that it’s gone, but I really hope it’s gone down the drain and not into the bedroom.”
Conditions were hot and sticky this morning, with temperatures at 29C and expected to top 31C today.
Liz said: “I was on the range warming up this morning and my hands were getting very sweaty, which is unusual for me and I had to change my glove, which is something I never have to do. I knew the ball was going to fly a bit and the last hour on the golf course the cloud cover came in and cooled it down a bit. First thing, it was quite hot out there.”
However cloud cover moved in just before midday making conditions more comfortable for the afternoon starters.
“The Ladies European Tour presents an excellent opportunity to elevate Kenya as a golfing destination and to also encourage the uptake of the sport among ladies in the country. Safaricom remains committed to supporting the growth and development of sports in the country due to its transformative impact to the community,” said Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, Chief Financial Services Officer, Safaricom.
Liz said that, although it’s a little hot for her liking, she is loving her first visit to Kenya.
“This resort is lovely and everyone has been so welcoming. The golf course is in great condition and I think the set-up is great. There are some tough par fours and some shorter ones where you can go for it. Overall, so far, so good. “I thought it would play long after the practise rounds, but today, it didn’t. We didn’t have as much wind as the practise days and they have moved the tee up on one, which really helped. I thought it would be a struggle to reach in two, but I had driver, 8-iron and there was little wind. I think it’s a good test of golf.”