Wednesday, March 28, 2012


                  JAMIE McLEARY. Picture by courtesy of Getty Images (c)

Scotland’s Jamie McLeary is hoping for a good week at the Barclays Kenya Open to continue his promising start to the 2012 Challenge Tour season.
The 30 year old finished tied eighth in his first event of the year, the Pacific Rubiales Colombia Classic earlier this month, and he is hoping to prolong that fine form at Muthaiga Golf Club in Nairobi this week.
“Normally I don’t start the season very well, so I was very happy with my performance in Colombia and if I can put in another good week here in Kenya I’ll be delighted,” said McLeary.
“I took a week off after Colombia and then a week ago I started hitting balls again in preparation for coming here. I’m working on a few things with my coach but we didn’t need to do too much as I’m swinging it pretty well at the moment. The ball is doing what I want it to do, so it’s just a case of doing that when the tournament starts.
“Although the weather has been great back home, the courses are still not in tip-top condition, so I’ve just been hitting balls on the range. It’s just a question of getting the rust off, then most of my preparation will be done here. I’m really looking forward to getting going again.”
The Edinburgh man, who finished 84th in the 2011 Challenge Tour Rankings, stressed the importance of accuracy around the Muthaiga course and feels he has an advantage being a straight hitter.
“I don’t hit the ball wildly off line a lot,” he said. “I don’t have a really wild drive in my bag, so the course suits me. It’s important to hit it in the middle here because it’s so firm - even more so this year. The ball just kicks on. So if you can keep it in play it’s a big advantage. If you keep it on the fairway you’ll have a good chance of birdie.
“Normally the guys who do well here are those who keep it down the middle – guys like (Robert) Dinwiddie (2010 champion) and (Michiel) Bothma (last year’s winner). You don’t need to hit many drivers but when you do, it’s imperative to hit it straight.”
McLeary is joined by compatriot Chris Doak, who is hoping to rediscover the form which yielded a tied h place finish in the season-opening Gujurat Kensville Challenge in January. Fellow Scots Andrew McArthur, Jack Doherty, Scott Henry and Gavin Dear are also in the field.



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