Kenya Savannah Classic R1

Harding continues his Kenyan hot streak

Kenya Savannah Classic 2021 R1
March 18-21
Karen Country Club, Nairobi, Kenya
€1,000,000
Round 2, Round 3, Round 4


Kenya Savannah Classic 2021 R1 - Harding continues his Kenyan hot streak
(Getty Images)

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes


Justin Harding picked up exactly where he left off at Karen Country Club as the South African carded a seven under par 64 to move into a share of the first round lead at the Kenya Savannah Classic supported by Absa, just two days after his triumph at the Magical Kenya Open presented by Absa.


Kenya Savannah Classic 2021 R1

“It’s quite different, to be fair. We are playing the same golf course so my strategy stays the same – front foot forward and see if we can keep doing what we were doing last week. I played pretty good again, solid.”

The 35-year-old claimed his second European Tour title in Nairobi on Sunday, breaking the lowest winning score record at Kenya’s historic national open with a 21 under par total, and he equalled his lowest round of last week with an opening 64 in the second of the back-to-back tournaments at the same venue.


Kenya Savannah Classic 2021 R1

“I played here in 2019 as well. Then I wasn’t able, with technology, to knock it on the par fours. It’s changed a little bit. Then I play back and leave myself a wedge in my hand, I don’t like the draw off the tee, especially with the wind blowing off the left. Then a couple of the others set up nicely. On 15 I learned my lesson Friday afternoon, I hit one in the bush and I’ve hit three wood ever since. It’s the type of golf course where you don’t have to birdie every hole, but if you execute your plans you have a hell of a lot of birdie chances – so play the tough holes properly.”

“It’s always easy when you’re playing well. Don’t ask me where it came from. I’m playing solid and finally rolling a couple of putts in. Ultimately just keeping it in play and trying to keep the bogeys off the card – there was a silly one on 16 but was happy enough to make a birdie on 17.”


Kenya Savannah Classic 2021 R1

Harding has already won back-to-back events in his career, on the Sunshine Tour in 2018, and he will be looking to become the first player to win consecutive European Tour events since Justin Rose won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open in consecutive weeks in 2017.

Joost Luiten, meanwhile, drew on some fond memories of his very first Challenge Tour appearance at Karen Country Club, as he joined Harding – along with Spain’s Alejandro Cañizares and Frenchman Clément Sordet – at the top of the leaderboard.

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“Seven under is a really good score around here,” said Luiten. “No bogeys on the card is always a good thing and seven birdies. I had a couple more chances but I’m very happy with seven under and it’s a good position for the rest of the week.

“I got an invite to play here 15 years ago on the Challenge Tour, from Daan Slooter who had a Challenge Tour event in the Netherlands so he had some invites and he gave me one. It was my first year as a pro and I finished tenth that week. That’s all that I can remember, I made a birdie down the last to finish tenth and that got me into the next tournament.

“I finished third in the next one and that got me into the next tournament and I won that one! For me, it was a perfect start to my Challenge Tour career. I got my chance with a wildcard invite and I took it. I have really good memories of this place.

“I’m really looking forward to the rest of the week. Hopefully I can just hit the ball as I did today and stay out of trouble and make sure to hole some putts and that’s always a good thing if you do that in golf.”

Kenya Savannah Classic 2021 R1


Pos.
Player
To Par
R1
T1
Justin Harding
-7
64
T1
Joost Luiten *
-7
64
T1
Alejandro Cañizares *
-7
64
T1
Clement Sordet
-7
64
T5
Marcus Armitage
-6
65
T5
Jonathan Caldwell *
-6
65
T5
David Drysdale *
-6
65
T5
Darren Fichardt
-6
65
T5
Mathiam Keyser *
-6
65
T5
Ross McGowan *
-6
65
T5
Cormac Sharvin *
-6
65
T5
Daniel van Tonder *
-6
65
T13
Emilio Cuartero Blanco
-5
66
T13
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño *
-5
66
T13
Scott Hend
-5
66
T13
Sam Horsfield
-5
66
T13
Jazz Janewattananond
-5
66
T13
Liam Johnston
-5
66
T13
Niklas Lemke
-5
66
T13
Matthieu Pavon
-5
66
T13
Matthias Schwab
-5
66
T13
Robin Sciot-Siegrist
-5
66
T13
Lee Slattery
-5
66
T13
Julian Suri *
-5
66
T13
David Wakhu
-5
66
T26
Maverick Antcliff
-4
67
T26
Nino Bertasio
-4
67
T26
Wil Besseling *
-4
67
T26
Ashley Chesters *
-4
67
T26
Victor Dubuisson *
-4
67
T26
Rhys Enoch
-4
67
T26
Jens Fahrbring
-4
67
T26
Calum Hill *
-4
67
T26
Masahiro Kawamura
-4
67
T26
Romain Langasque
-4
67
T26
Carlos Pigem
-4
67
T26
Marcel Schneider *
-4
67
T26
Jack Senior *
-4
67
T26
Toby Tree *
-4
67
T26
Scott Vincent
-4
67
T41
Steven Brown *
-3
68
T41
Jorge Campillo
-3
68
T41
Ben Evans
-3
68
T41
Craig Howie *
-3
68
T41
Daan Huizing
-3
68
T41
Maximilian Kieffer *
-3
68
T41
Sihwan Kim *
-3
68
T41
Tae Hee Lee *
-3
68
T41
Jose-Filipe Lima
-3
68
T41
Adrian Otaegui
-3
68
T41
Ricardo Santos *
-3
68
T41
Sebastian Soderberg
-3
68
T41
Lars van Meijel *
-3
68
T54
Lucas Bjerregaard
-2
69
T54
Dean Burmester
-2
69
T54
John Catlin *
-2
69
T54
Aaron Cockerill *
-2
69
T54
Lorenzo Gagli
-2
69
T54
Kurt Kitayama *
-2
69
T54
Alexander Levy *
-2
69
T54
Hurly Long (a)
-2
69
T54
Garrick Porteous
-2
69
T54
Kristoffer Reitan *
-2
69
T54
Jayden Schaper *
-2
69
T54
Shubhankar Sharma *
-2
69
T66
Gaganjeet Bhullar
-1
70
T66
George Coetzee *
-1
70
T66
Dave Coupland
-1
70
T66
Ewen Ferguson *
-1
70
T66
Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez *
-1
70
T66
Julien Guerrier *
-1
70
T66
David Howell
-1
70
T66
Jacques Kruyswijk
-1
70
T66
Joakim Lagergren
-1
70
T66
Francesco Laporta
-1
70
T66
Richard Mansell (a)
-1
70
T66
James Morrison
-1
70
T66
Benjamin Poke *
-1
70
T66
Aaron Rai
-1
70
T66
JC Ritchie
-1
70
T66
Robin Roussel
-1
70
T66
Lorenzo Scalise *
-1
70
T66
Martin Simonsen *
-1
70
T66
Johannes Veerman
-1
70
T66
Nicolai Von Dellingshausen *
-1
70
T66
Dale Whitnell
-1
70
T66
Darius van Driel *
-1
70
T88
Pep Angles *
E
71
T88
Riz Charania *
E
71
T88
Louis De Jager *
E
71
T88
Oliver Farr *
E
71
T88
David Law
E
71
T88
Richard McEvoy *
E
71
T88
Adrian Meronk *
E
71
T88
Samuel Njoroge Chege *
E
71
T88
Chris Paisley
E
71
T88
Alvaro Quiros
E
71
T88
Richie Ramsay *
E
71
T88
Jordan Smith *
E
71
T88
Greg Snow
E
71
T88
Connor Syme *
E
71
T88
Romain Wattel *
E
71
T88
Oliver Wilson
E
71
T104
Jamie Donaldson
1
72
T104
Grant Forrest
1
72
T104
Garrick Higgo
1
72
T104
Dismas Indiza Anyonyi
1
72
T104
Tyler Koivisto *
1
72
T104
Ondrej Lieser (a) *
1
72
T104
Jastas Madoya Asena *
1
72
T104
Mohit Mediratta
1
72
T104
Kyong-Jun Moon
1
72
T104
Gavin Moynihan
1
72
T104
Wilco Nienaber *
1
72
T104
Bernd Ritthammer *
1
72
T104
Adrien Saddier *
1
72
T104
Jaydeep Singh Sandhu
1
72
T104
Joel Stalter *
1
72
T119
Adel Balala
2
73
T119
Eirik Tage Johansen
2
73
T119
Anton Karlsson
2
73
T119
Thriston Lawrence *
2
73
T119
Guido Migliozzi *
2
73
T119
Isaac Ogolla Makokha *
2
73
T119
Damien Perrier *
2
73
T119
Tapio Pulkkanen *
2
73
T119
Matthew Southgate *
2
73
T119
Cj Wangai
2
73
T119
Daniel Young (a)
2
73
T130
Richard Bland *
3
74
T130
Yi Keun Chang
3
74
T130
Matt Ford
3
74
T130
Gavin Kyle Green *
3
74
T130
Søren Kjeldsen
3
74
T130
Edoardo Molinari
3
74
T130
Andrew Oche Odoh
3
74
T137
SSP Chawrasia
4
75
T137
Robson Chinhoi *
4
75
T137
Oliver Fisher
4
75
T137
Michael Karanga
4
75
T137
Rikard Karlberg *
4
75
T137
Zander Lombard *
4
75
T143
Ooko Erick Obura *
5
76
T143
Pedro Figueiredo *
5
76
T143
Nicolai Højgaard
5
76
T143
Edwin Inana Asuza *
5
76
T143
Phillip Kasozi *
5
76
T143
Haydn Porteous
5
76
T149
Simon Ngige Mburu *
6
77
T149
Max Schmitt
6
77
T151
Njoroge Njonge Kibugu *
7
78
T151
Mathew Omondi
7
78
153
Matthew Baldwin *
9
80
T154
Deo Akope *
11
82
T154
Taimur Malik *
11
82
W/D
Mathew Wahome
E
* Player started on the back nine