Dismas Indiza rolled back the years as he fired a 69 to delight the home fans on day one of the Magical Kenya Open presented by Absa.
The 50 year old was playing alongside Adri Arnaus and Shubhankar Sharma – two players with a combined age of 46 – but he ended the round just three shots behind the Spaniard and five ahead of two time European Tour winner Sharma.
Indiza made a birdie-birdie start from the tenth but followed it with three bogeys a row, admitting he was distracted by an emotional minute’s silence for the 157 people who tragically lost their lives on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 on Sunday.
He recovered brilliantly on the front nine, with a hot putter helping him to birdies on the fourth, sixth and seventh as he reached two under par.
Indiza has missed just two editions of this event on the European Challenge Tour since 1999, finishing in the top ten here at Karen Country Club in 2008, and he enjoyed his day at altitude in Nairobi.
“The course was nice for me and I enjoyed it with these guys,” he said. “These are more like my sons!
“I have lots of experience on this course, I used to play here as an amateur and a pro and we play our local tournament here. I enjoyed myself.
“By the time I made the turn I was one over, so I am really happy that I managed to play the back nine in three under and post a good score.
“Overall it was a decent outing for me today and I feel that I don’t have much to improve on going into round two tomorrow.
“The course is in good shape; the fairways are a bit dry but the greens are in very great shape. It got tricky with the wind in the morning and I can only sympathise with the afternoon groups when the wind really picks up here.”
-Report by European Tour