Cape Town – Jack Singh Brar soared up the leaderboard with a late birdie blitz to take a share of the first-round lead alongside Louis de Jager at the Magical Kenya Open.
The Englishman, who is a European Tour rookie after graduating from the Challenge Tour last season, produced a stunning eagle-birdie-birdie-birdie finish to sign for a bogey-free seven under par round of 64 in Nairobi.
Despite windy conditions at Karen Country Club, South Africa’s De Jager also shined in the Kenyan sun, bagging seven birdies and an eagle to join Singh Brar at the top of the leaderboard.
“I have been hitting it really well over the past two weeks and I did that again today, but just managed to hole a few putts too,” said De Jager.
“It is always nice to be back in Africa, and when we came here on Tuesday, I felt right at home on my home continent and it felt very similar with the altitude to Pretoria which is home for me. I also played here last year on the Sunshine Tour, so I feel that I know the course quite well.
“It was a lot windier today than I am used to here, so to come away with the score that I did was really satisfying.”
One shot off the lead is India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar. The European Tour winner is well-placed to contend again after 18 holes thanks to a blemish-free 65 on his first start in the Kenyan capital.
Two off the top are Spanish rookie Adri Arnaus and five-time European Tour champion Michael Hoey, while in-form Christian Bezuidenhout – who finished as a runner-up in Qatar last week – leads a pack of seven players who sit three shots off the pace.
Scores after Round One:
64 L De Jager (RSA) , J Singh Brar (Eng) ,
65 G Bhullar (Ind) ,
66 A Arnaus (Esp) , M Hoey (Nir) ,
67 H Leon (Chi) , C Bezuidenhout (RSA) , G Migliozzi (Ita) , R Langasque (Fra) , J Geary (Nzl) , F Bergamaschi (Ita) , L Johnston (Sco) ,
68 S Ngige (Ken) ,
69 C Sharvin (Nir) , M Nixon (Eng) , H Park (Kor) , D Boote (Wal) , A Cockerill (Can) , J Senior (Eng) , M Schmitt (Ger) , A Karlsson (Swe) , H Porteous (RSA) , D Indiza Anyonyi (Ken) ,
70 S Soderberg (Swe) , H Joannes (Bel) , T Bjørn (Den) , J Harding (RSA) , C S (Ind) , K Samooja (Fin) , K Koivu (Fin) , O Farr (Wal) , C Blomstrand (Swe) , D Cooke (USA) , C Sordet (Fra) , Y Liu (Chn) , M Schneider (Ger) ,
71 G Fdez-Castaño (Esp) , J Kruyswijk (RSA) , A Rozner (Fra) , B Ritthammer (Ger) , C Syme (Sco) , I Cantero Gutierrez (Esp) , E Kofstad (Nor) , M Siem (Ger) , R Macintyre (Sco) , P Mejow (Ger) , C Hill (Sco) , L Jensen (Den) , C Lloyd (Eng) , S Manley (Wal) , J Madoya (Ken) , D Van Driel (Ned) , J Catlin (USA) ,
72 S Crocker (USA) , J Abbott (Eng) , N Cullen (Aus) , N Lemke (Swe) , A Knappe (Ger) , D Lawson (Aus) , A Saddier (Fra) , J Choi (Kor) , T Omuli (Ken) , B Evans (Eng) , E Cuartero Blanco (Esp) , G Moynihan (Irl) , O Wilson (Eng) , D Huizing (Ned) , M Lafeber (Ned) , B Easton (RSA) , G Coetzee (RSA) , T Murray (Eng) , J Girrbach (Sui) , P Figueiredo (Por) , K Joshi (Ind) ,
73 K Reitan (Nor) , L Gagli (Ita) , S Vincent (Zim) , S Tiley (Eng) , H Sturehed (Swe) , N McCarthy (Eng) , S Brown (Eng) , P Langfors (Swe) , E Ferguson (Sco) , M Manassero (Ita) , J Thomson (Eng) , P Angles (Esp) , G Snow (Ken) , H Choi (Kor) , D Gavins (Eng) , S Gros (Fra) , D Borda (Esp) , L Canter (Eng) , M Simonsen (Den) , E Mudanyi (am) (Ken) ,
74 R Gouveia (Por) , D Odhiambo (Ken) , S Forsström (Swe) , M Orrin (Eng) , D Stewart (Sco) , R McGowan (Eng) , C Ross (Sco) , C Berardo (Fra) , D Wakhu (Ken) , N Simwa (Ken) , O Lengden (Swe) , E Van Rooyen (RSA) , R Paratore (Ita) , S Sharma (Ind) ,
75 M Iten (Sui) , U Coussaud (Fra) , C Braeunig (Ger) , M Fenasse (Fra) , J Lima (Por) , B Stow (Eng) , B Virto (Esp) , R Evans (Eng) , J Dean (Eng) , C Hanson (Eng) , S Han (USA) , G Havret (Fra) , S Chege (am) (Ken) ,
76 M Jordan (Eng) , E De La Riva (Esp) , D Opati (Ken) , G Bourdy (Fra) , J Veerman (USA) , N Geyger (Chi) , K Mutahi (am) (Ken) , D Nduva (am) (Ken) ,
77 P Kasozi (Uga) , M Wiegele (Aut) , R De Sousa (Sui) , B Mogire (am) (Ken) ,
78 S Fernandez (Esp) , O Obura (Ken) , R Charania (Ken) ,
79 C Wangai (Ken) , A Nandwa (Ken) ,
80 J Okello (Ken) , J Winther (Den) ,
81 S Gregory (Eng) ,
83 R Dawson (Irl) , M Kisia (am) (Ken) , ** M Kawamura (Jpn) ,