Keeping Score

Justin Harding keeps good times rolling in Kenya

South African, who won European Tour’s Magical Kenya Open only 2 days earlier, shoots 64 for share of lead in Nairobi’s encore event

64: First-round scores for Alejandro Canizares, Justin Harding, Joost Luiten and Clement Sordet, who shared the lead Tuesday after the first round of the European Tour’s Kenya Savannah Classic in Nairobi. Harding, who won the Magical Kenya Open only two days earlier on the same Karen Country Club course in the east African nation’s capital, quickly maintained his momentum from the past week. He birdied seven of his first 13 holes before dropping a shot at the par-3 16th. Harding, 35, of South Africa, rebounded with birdie at the par-4 17th hole to grab a share of the lead. Harding won back-to-back events on his native Sunshine Tour in 2018. No player has won consecutive European Tour titles since Justin Rose won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open in 2017. “It’s quite different, to be fair,” said Harding about playing competitively just two days after lifting a trophy. “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.” Luiten, 35, a six-time European Tour winner from the Netherlands, birdied his first three holes after starting on the back nine and played a bogey-free round. Sordet, 28, a Frenchman who is seeking his first victory, offset one bogey with eight birdies. Canizares, 38, a two-time winner from Spain, settled down after a roller-coaster front nine during which he offset two bogeys with two birdies and an eagle. Seven players were tied at 6-under 65. Kenya’s David Wakhu, sparked by a birdie-eagle start, shart 5-under 66 to lead the host nation’s 18 entrants. Eighty-seven of the 156-man field broke par, including Americans Julian Suri (67), Sihwan Kim (68), John Catlin (69), Kurt Kitayama (69) and Johannes Veerman (70). The tournament is the second consecutive event at the club in the Kenyan capital (scores).

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