DAY 3 – Select results
1⃣ J Campillo 🇪🇸 ✳ 200 (-13)
2⃣ R Macintyre 🏴 ✳ 201 (-12)
4⃣4⃣ M Kibugu 🇰🇪 📷 ✳ 210 (-3)
💠 Venue: Muthaiga
💠 Total prize money $2million.
Kampala, Uganda | LOUIS JADWONG | When Mutahi Kibugu tees off at 9.15am today, the distinct sound of the ball he will hit from hole 1 will be heard in Nairobi and Kampala.
The 22-year-old, the only surviving East African at the Magical Kenya Golf Open, carries the hope of a region that yet again struggled to make a mark in this DP World Tour event, one of the most prestigous tournaments of the year.
Mutahi Kibugu, is one of two sons of renowned amateur golfer, Daniel Kagwe, who entered this year’s Magical Kenya Golf Open. It has attracated top golfers from Europe, Asia and Africa. The younger Kibugu, Njoroge (19), failed to make the cut into the money bracket on Friday.
2022 #MagicalKenyaOpen only one Kenyan made the CUT – Njoroge Kibugu.
In 2023 only one Kenyan has made the CUT – Mutahi Kibugu, older bro to Njoroge.
For 2 years straight, one Mukurwe-ini, Nyeri County family has saved our blushes. Well done to dad Dan Kagwe! @GovernorKahiga https://t.co/ZB3wiz9ZWF pic.twitter.com/W0OWACYjWL
— Charles Gacheru (@CharlesGacheru) March 10, 2023
Daniel Kagwe was a prominent amateur player on the Uganda golf scene in the early 2000s, and indeed was captain of the Uganda Golf Club, Kitante in 2004-2005 before he returned to Nairobi.
But his heart in many ways has remained in Uganda, and three of his sons have featured prominently in events in Kampala, Kigo and Entebbe in the past decade.
As early as 2008, the elder boy Kibugu Kagwe was winning the Entebbe Golf Open as a teenager, while Mutahi and Njoroge, who just two years ago were still amateurs, competed in the 2019 Uganda Open at the Serena Kigo. Njoroge ended 20th (+24 312), while Mutahi Kibugu T31 (+33 321) in the Amateur Open that was won then by another Kenyan Daniel Nduva (-1 286).
Kibugu Mutahi returned to Kigo last year as a professional, but could only manage 19th (+12 300), well behind eventual winner Robson Chinhoi (-11 277) from Zimbabwe.
This year, Mutahi has hit all the right notes on the Sunshine Tour, and the Safari Tour, including qualifying for another Magical Kenya Open. His caddie Edwin Mudanyi has also competed in Uganda, at the 2022 Uganda Open.
Delight for Mutahi Kibugu and the Kenyan crowd 😍
A birdie at the last to make the weekend!#MagicalKenyaOpen pic.twitter.com/PwIfX9ozGA
— DP World Tour (@DPWorldTour) March 10, 2023
Ugandan, former champions struggle in Nairobi
Several former Ugandan amateur and profession Open aces competed in Nairobi but failed to make the cut.
Uganda’s Ronald Rugumayo 151, Kenya’s Njoroge Kibugu 144, Adel Balala 155, Greg Snow 145, Daniel Nduva 149, Dismas Indiza 144 and Zimbabwean Chinhoi 144 who won the Uganda pro Open last year, all failed to make the cut on Friday.
Rugumayo, sponsored for the trip by Absa Bank Uganda, had the consolation of hitting a hole in one on Par 3 Hole 2, on day 1.
A hearty congratulations to Ronald Rugumayo from 🇺🇬 . He was the only East African to get a hole in one. 🙌🏽🙌🏽@KenyaAirways#MKO2023 #WeAreOpenToMore https://t.co/U7E3qntazZ pic.twitter.com/GXFUKkLxzl
— Magical Kenya Open (@KenyaOpenGolf) March 12, 2023