Singh Brar shares Kenya Open lead with 7-under 64


Ian Poulter tipped Jack Singh Brar for success the first time he set eyes on his young English countryman. Singh Brar could be on the verge of making Mr Ryder Cup look positively clairvoyant.

Singh Brar shares the lead in the $1.2 million Magical Kenya Open. The 2017 Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup player returned a 7-under-par 64 at Karen Country Club in Kenyan capital Nairobi to end the first round tied at the top with South Africa’s Louis De Jager.

Poulter played with Singh Brar at Woburn Golf Club in Final Qualifying for the 2017 Open Championship when Singh Brar was still an amateur. Poulter qualified while his young compatriot just missed out. However, the 12-time European Tour winner saw enough over 36 holes to pass this judgement:

“He’s very polished,” Poulter said. “He looks like he’s got a big future ahead of him.”

Poulter would have been proud of the way the 22 year old finished his opening round in Kenya.

Sing Brar began on the 10th tee and made birdies at the 11th and 12th holes. He turned in 34, 2-under, and made his 11th consecutive par on the 5th hole. Then he really showed his class.

Singh Brar eagled the par-5, 6th hole, then birdied the next three to get to the top of the leaderboard.

“Through the round I got up and down when I needed to and then I was five under through my last four, a great way to finish the round,” Singh Brar said.

“It was my first time at this course, and I like it here. The course is quite fiery, and you can hit a lot of low run shots, which is my stock shot. That worked out perfectly as it can go miles with the altitude.

“It is very different to a lot of the courses that we play, it’s quite quirky. That is something which has suited me in the past. I won at a course on the Challenge Tour in France which is similar to here.

“I have to just keep pushing on now.”

Singh Brar earned his place in the 2017 Walker Cup by winning the prestigious Lytham Trophy. He was the standout GB&I performer at Los Angeles Country Club despite an emphatic 19-7 United States victory. He earned three points out of a possible four.

It’s no surprise Singh Brar has progressed seamlessly to the European Tour since the Walker Cup. He won on last year’s European Challenge Tour to finish sixth on the money list to earn full playing rights for this season’s European Tour.

Singh Brar has made slow progress this season, making just three cuts in eight starts. He looks like making up for that in Nairobi this week. No one, least of all Poulter, would be surprised if he stays at the top of the leaderboard to earn his first European Tour win.

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