Young Kibugu continues to impress at Kenya Open

Muthaiga Golf Club's Njoroge Kibugu teeoff during Magical Kenya Open at Muthaiga Golf Club. March 4, 2022. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

On fire Njoroge Kibugu saved Kenya’s blushes by firing five under par 66 for total two rounds of six under par 136 to make the cut on Day Two of the 2022 Magical Kenya Open at par 71 Muthaiga Golf Club in Nairobi yesterday.

At the same time, Shubhankar Sharma of India eclipsed Daniel Gavins of Britain on top of the leader board on total two rounds of ten under par 132.

Kenya Vision 2030 sponsored players Erick Ooko (Golf Park), Dismas Indiza (Mumias) Jastas Madoya (Great Rift Valley Lodge), Samuel Njoroge (Railways), John Lejirma (Railways) Dennis Maara (Limuru) and Adel Balala (Nyali) all failed to make the cut.

This means the above golfers will not be able to have a share of the Sh1 million bonus prize which was offered to them by their sponsor.

Ronald Rugumayo (Uganda), Paul Chidale (Malawi) and Robson Chinhoi (Zimbabwe) who were other Africans in the mix too failed to sail to the money bracket.

Kibugu was flawless in all the 18-holes, finishing his attack of the greens without any bogey.

The 18-year-old ended his dazzling game with an eagle in the 18th, amid cheers and applause by Kenyans who walked the fairways with him in the scorching mid-morning sun.

Golf Park's Erick Ooko during Magical Kenya Open at Muthaiga Golf Club. March 4, 2022. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

The promising youngster birdied in the par-4 3rd, par-4 9th, par-4  17th and parred in the rest of the holes.

Despite making the cut, Kibugu will not be able to get any monetary gain since he’s still an amateur.

“There was no much wind today but the greens were quicker. I started off very crappy, with no perfect swings in the first six holes.

“When I picked up it turned out to be more fun, my caddy Bo Ciera was fun to be with and my batch that comprised of Jayden Schaper of South Africa and Schmitt Max of Germany.

“We really cracked jokes as we played along,” Kibugu told Standard Sports.

Kibugu revealed the secret to his good run was maintaining the same strategy he had on the opening day on Thursday, which saw him finish the course on one under par 70.

“I have no other game plan, I’m going to apply the same strategy untill Sunday,” he said.

Kibugu insists he doesn’t feel any pressure now that he will be dining on the course at the weekend with the big boys who are out to have a piece of the Sh227 million purse money.

“I’m actually grateful to be in this position. I thank my family, coach and Ciera to have contributed to this impressive showpiece.

“I have played on this course since I was six and I think I know it like my bedroom. I’m hopeful that this good run will land me solid sponsorship at the end of the tournament,” he said