James Kamte from South Africa and Argentina’s Daniel Vancsik defied the testing conditions to top the leader board after the first round of the Tusker Kenya Open at Karen.
On a day dominated by a blustery wind, both players went round in 66, four under par, to open a one stroke lead from Sweden’s Michael Lundberg, another Argentinean, Miguel Rodriguez, and Alvaro Salto from Spain.
Vancsik, the 28 year old from Buenos Aires, and twice a winner on the Challenge Tour, set an early target. After going out in the second group from the tenth tee he was making little progress with an outward 36.
But he found his game on the homeward stretch with five birdies in a brilliant 30 including picking up shots at his final three holes, the seventh, eighth and ninth.
He was alone at the top of the leader board until the afternoon when Kamte also found five birdies in his 66, covering both nines in 33 strokes.
Midway through the day it seemed that the tournament was in South American hands with Rodrigeuz joining his fellow countryman at the head of the field after his 67 that contained an eagle and five birdies.
But Salto and Lundberg, both afternoon starters, brought the Europeans into the picture with their 67s.
Four players share sixth spot on 68 including the best placed Britons, James Heath and Jack Doherty.
Heath, who will celebrate his 22nd birthday next week, is still in his first year as a professional having won the English Championship and represented England in the Eisenhower Trophy in 2004.
Doherty, 22, the Welsh-based Scot, is a former Scottish international who turned pro after failing to earn a Walker Cup place in 2003.
Also on 68 are Michael Kirk from South Africa and another Swede, Johan Edfors.
Four more players share tenth place on 69, including the English trio of Stuart Davis, Richard McEvoy and Shaun Webster, and Spain’s Gabriel Canizares.
Davis’s score was particularly meritorious after he had gone down with sickness and dehydration. However, an injection before he teed off seemed to do the trick as the Derbyshire man ran in five birdies.