Ross Kellett burst out of the blocks in the opening Challenge Tour event of the season to earn a share of the lead after the first round of the Barclays Kenya Open.
Taking up where he’d left off when winning a Mediterranean Tour event last week in Egypt in his final warm up event for the new campaign, the 30-year-old Motherwell man carded two eagles as he signed for six-under-par 65 at Muthaiga Golf Club in Nairobi.
That was the best effort in the morning wave before Kellett was joined at the top of the leadervboard later in the day by Englishman Max Orrin, who made his score with the help of seven birdies.
On a day when Connor Syme, Duncan Stewart and David Law also made promising starts with matching 69s, pride of place among an eight-strong Scottish contingent undoubtedly went to Kellett.
In additon to his two eagles at the fourth and 10th, he also chipped in at the short 11th for a birdie-2, having made an earlier 2 at the second to spark his good day’s work.
“Everything I was doing seemed to be working,” said Kellett, who is starting his fifth season on the Challenge Tour. “I got off to a really good start. I made birdies at the second and third and then I chipped in on the fourth – so before I knew it I was four under.
“I picked up a couple more around the turn. I eagled the tenth after holing one from about 20 feet and then I chipped in again at 11 – so then I’m six-under!
“I was really straight off of the tee today, I holed a few chips – which you don’t do very often – and I also holed some really nice putts. The greens this week are in great shape and although they are slightly slow they are rolling well.”
The former Scottish international, who is attached to the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre, added: “It has been a long off-season. I didn’t do much before Christmas but since the first of January I have been away preparing for this year.
“I managed to win last week (the Mirage Classic) in Egypt, where I played some really lovely golf against a very strong field. Coming here I felt very strong and it is really nice to have carried that feeling on from last week.”
Kellett and 23-year-old Orrin sit a shot ahead of three players - former Dunhill Links winner Michael Hoey, seven-time Sunshine Tour champion Jaco Ahlers and Swede Simon Forsstrom.
Playing in the same group as Kellett, Syme picked up three shots in the last four holes, including an eagle at the last, while Law and Stewart signed for three and four birdies respectively.
Jack Doherty also broke par with his 70, but Grant Forrest (73), Chris Doak (74) and Scott Henry (75) are all battling to make the halfway cut.