The only Tanzania flag bearer in this year’s Barclays Kenya Open edition, Fadhyl Nkya tees off at number one of the 7,236 yards par 71 Muthaiga Golf Club in Northern Nairobi exactly at 12:40 hours today.
The towering and massively built top rated Tanzanian professional will be the first on the tee box as English golfer Garry Lockerbie follows him before the flight takes Kenyan John Kiondo as the last on board.
This is Nkya’s third attempt in Kenya Open since he joined the professional ranks over five years ago in America.
Nkya, who has been unavailable on his mobile phone, had vowed to make the cut for this event after two disappointing failures, one at the Karen and the other at Muthaiga.
The event has drawn professionals from all over the world in the only Challenge Tour event to be played in the continent for the on going season.
The field is congested with South Africans, Britons and several host country players.
Making the cut at the Kenya Open has been an elusive for most of the Tanzanian with Salim Mwanyenza being the last to do so when the tournament was staged at the par 70 Karen Country and Golf Club in 2004.
Other Tanzanians, including Nkya himself, have tried but ended with frustration since then.
The line-up of the Tanzanians with a failed bid to make the cut include Stanley Sanga, Bryson Nyenza, Adam Mohamed, John Davies Jr., Yassin Saleh and Mbwana Juma whose only cut was during the 1998 edition at Muthaiga.
Nkya, who arrived in Nairobi several days for practice sessions ahead of the event, will have to be careful on his playmates particularly the Kenyan one.
He needs to play it safe and improve his composure on the course which behaves differently during the afternoon session when the greens are fast and unidirectional wind blows.
Projected temperatures for today is 18, a bit chilly for a Tanzanian player with wind blowing at 16 kilometers per hour.
While winds will be blowing at 24 kilometers for the rest of the three remaining days, temperatures are estimated to fluctuate between 26 and 29 with sunny days up to Sunday.
The big hitter Nkya will have to be careful on the par fives four and seventh of the opening nine and the dog legged par five tenth and tricky 18th.
The course is characteristically a championship one with deep roughs that needs a straight hitter to be on the safe side.
It is good for Nkya to go under but in the event the situation does not allow then level par might be useful ahead of the crucial round tomorrow.
History has shown that level par scores for two rounds are enough to win the cut for the past five years of the event.
A total of 19 professionals and five amateurs are making the field for the host country in the tussle for the Euros 190,000 prize package, courtesy of the Barclays Bank Kenya Limited.
The best ever performance by the local professional ever since the event secured European Challenge Tour sanctioning in 1991 is Jacob Okello who finished runners up in 1998.
He lost on the third hole of the sudden death play off to Argentine Ricardo Gonzalez in the most agonizing Kenya Open finale that left home fans in full scale disappointment.