Henrik Stenson, who missed his tour card by less than 4,000 Euro last year, leads the Tusker Kenya Open at the halfway stage in Nairobi. The young Swede carded a second round 69 for 134, eight under par, for a one-shot lead over the field. Just a few weeks short of his 24th birthday, Stenson took his birdie tally to 10 for the tournament and only carded over par on two holes after a bogey-free 65 on day one.
On another day of low scoring, Stenson is a shot clear of Ilya Goroneskoul of France, who also went round in 69, and Spain's Pello Iguaran, who had 67. A shot further back on 136 are a group of six players, Gianluca Baruffaldi of Italy, who shared the overnight lead with Stenson, but went round in 71, England's Shaun Webster, another Swede, Ulrik Gustafsson, and Trevor Immelman of South Africa, who all carded 69.
On the same score is Garry Houston, who matched Iguaran's 67, and fellow Welshman Mark Pilkington, who returned a best-of-the-day 64 with eight birdies. The halfway cut came at one-under-par 141 and 55 players survived for the final two rounds. Among those were Walker Cup heroes Lorne Kelly of Scotland and Ireland's Paddy Gribben, both on 140.
But those who failed to beat the cut were former European Tour regulars Scott Henderson, Stuart Cage, Carl Watts and Magnus Persson. Sweden's Eric Carlberg, winner of the Challenge de España last month, the opening event on the 2000 Challenge Tour, recorded 66 but it wasn't enough to save him after a first round 77.
Three former winners of the Kenya title also bowed out, Mike Miller, Craig Maltman and Garry Harvey.