Friday, 10 March 2006

The Tusker Kenya Open moved into the weekend with a three way tie atop the leaderboard as Johan Axgren of Sweden, England’s James Hepworth and the South African James Kamte moved to seven under par 133 at the magnificent Karen Golf Club.


While Axgren supplemented his opening 64 with a steady one under 69 in the second round, both Hepworth and Kamte showed some great form en rout to posting a pair of 66s to join Axgren at the head of the field and one stroke clear of England’s James Heath, Cedric Menut of France and Argentina’s Gustavo Rojas.


Kamte got off to a great start with a birdie at the par five second, but soon found himself battling against some careless play as he dropped shots on the fourth and then the sixth holes.


The South African soon eliminated the poor shots from his play though, rallying superbly with birdies on the eighth and ninth to get back under par for the day before coming home in some style on the back nine with three birdies and no dropped shots allowing him to add a 66 to his opening 67 and join Axgren as the clubhouse leader.


The Swede, who was out in the morning groups, had an up and down kind of day that was perfectly illustrated by his birdie-bogy-birdie-bogey-birdie finish over the closing five holes at Karen.


Axgren was philosophical after his second round, and just happy to be in contention again, so soon after his play-off victory at the Kai Fieberg Costa Rica Open 2006.


“I’m just looking forward to the weekend,” said Axgren. “It was a little bit messy out there at points today but I managed to hold it together when I needed to and I am still in there with a chance over the weekend – in fact, I am in a great position at the moment.”


Hepworth was in a similar mood to Axgren after forging his own 66 on the course that included and eagle three at the second hole. The Englishman, who won his place on The European Tour through the Challenge Tour Rankings in 2003, has switched putters for the Tusker Kenya Open, which seems to be paying off.


“Everything went alright today,” said Hepworth. “I got off to a great start on the second with an eagle three and then just took it on from there. My game’s in good shape and I have been putting a lot better with the broomhandle putter again, and I certainly made a good few putts on the back nine today.


“I’m in a good position for the weekend, which is all you are trying to do in these early rounds – try and make sure you have a chance on Sunday afternoon. Hopefully I’ll be there or thereabouts for the last round.”


Sixty-nine players made the halfway cut of two over par and will contest the €160,000 prizefund over the final two rounds.

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