Kenya Golf Guide

Kibugu Njoroge at the putting range after finishing his second round of the Kenya Open Golf Championship at Muthaiga Golf Club.


By Daniella Apiyo and Amanda Damaris

India’s Shubhankar Sharma yesterday made his first move to the top of the leaderboard  as the 2022 Magical Kenya Open marked its half way stage at the par 71 Muthaiga Golf Club course where 66 players survived the second round cut, and are now all set for the real chase of the top prize money plus some points towards the “the Race to Dubai’’ .

Playing in the morning session, Sharma produced a fine round of four under par 67 to take his aggregate to 10 under par 132, just a shot away from Japan’s Masuhiro Kawamura and Scotland’s Ewen fergusson.

Sharma who in 2017 became the youngest Indian pro to win in a tour in 2017 when he clinched the co-sanctioned European and Sunshine Tour event, dropped only two shots during the day and made birdies on the second, sixth, eighth and ninth. He had started the round from the back nine where he parred eight holes and closed the back nine with an eagle at the 18th hole.

“I’m really happy, whenever you finish with two birdies you’re always happy. It was a good round for me today, it was quite a slow start for me starting on the back nine, not much was happening for me, but that eagle on the 18th really propelled me.

“The front nine was great, missed birdie opportunities on both the par fives but came back strong on eight and nine with birdies and I’m really pleased with the score.

“It does fly a long way, personally I’ve done well whenever I play at altitude, I’m good at controlling my irons, so I did not do too much trackman work this week – I might have hit about 50 balls on the trackman this week – and I just got my numbers.

“I’m very comfortable out there. It’s not easy to get your numbers dialed in but like I said, I’ve done a good job. My first win came in Joburg which was also at altitude so I have good memories from playing at places where the golf course is at a height and that is definitely helping. I’m very pleased with what I’ve done over the past few days’’ said Sharma.

The Japanese Kawamura played a bogey free round of five under 66 in the second round where made two birdies at the front nine and three at the back nine, to tie for second place with Scotland’s Ewen Ferguson who posted four under par 67 to carry to the third round, a nine under par 133. South Africa’s Lawrence Thriston was on his own in fourth place on seven under par 135 and in a fine striking position during the third round on Saturday.

Sweden’s Jasper Svensson led a big group of five players on six under par 136 in fifth place. That group included kenya’s junior amateur Njoroge Kibugu who was the only Kenyan to make the level par second round cut.

This year a field of 144 players including 16 kenyans(10 pros and six amateurs) had been drawn in the first round. However four players withdrew in the first round because of injuries and illness, leaving 140 players battling it out in the second round.

Sports Cabinet Secretary Dr Amina Mohammed congratulated Njoroge Kibugu on his great performance saying his performance shows junior programme is the best route to grow the game and support future stars like Kibugu who will be capable of winning the Magical Kenya Open in the future.

Addressing the media at the media centre in the company of Kenya Open Golf Limited officials, Kenya Golf Union and the CEO of the PGA European Tour Keith Pelley, Mohammed appealed to Kenyans to come to Muthaiga and support the Kenyan junior.

Pelley said the European Tour along with the KOGL are looking at the possibility of supporting a junior programme using the DP World Tour.

Meanwhile a Mercedes Benz GLB 200 courtesy of DT Dobie is still at stake for the first player to hole in one at the 13th hole.

The Leader board;

Shubhankar Sharma(Ind) 65, 67= 132

Masahiro Kawamura (Jap) 67, 66= 133

Ewen Fergusson (Sco) 66, 67= 133

Lawrence Thriston (SA) 69, 66= 135

Jasper Svensson (Swe) 70, 66= 136

Njoroge Kibugu (Ken) 70, 66= 136

Angel Hidalgo (Sp) 68, 68= 136

Dean Burmester (SA) 67, 39= 136

Hurly Long( Ger) 68, 68= 136

  1. Svensson (Swe) 70, 66= 136.


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