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Magical Kenya Open: Rugumayo aims to make the cut on his pro debut

Ronald Rugumayo will be making his pro debut at the Magical Kenya Open when the event proper tees off tomorrow.

Ugandan professional golfer Ronald Rugumayo will be making his debut in the paid ranks of the Magical Kenya Open at this year’s staging scheduled for 3 to 6 March at Muthaiga Golf Club in Nairobi, Kenya.

Rugumayo who turned professional four years ago played at the Magical Kenya Open in 2017 but as an amateur and he was in the mix in the tournament’s Pro-Am. By then the event wasn’t part of the European Tour.

Rugumayo, 30 finished 12th overall with 136.5 points in the Safari Tour (a Magical Kenya Open qualifier for local pros) 2021/22 order of merit but got a wild card after his stellar display in the final leg of the tour at Muthaiga Golf Club a few weeks ago.

There were four wildcards available and the event organisers gave them to 2019 Uganda Amateur Open winner Daniel Nduva of Kenya, South Africans Toto Thimba and Jayden Schaper plus Uganda’s Ronald Rugumayo.

Rugumayo who had an impressive 2021 though with few competitions says that it’s a dream come true to play at a European Tour event and hopes to make both the day one and the day two money cut in order to claim part of the tournament’s €1,750,000 kitty.

Rugumayo has been impressive in the recent past. Photo by Johakim Pixels

“All I have to do is survive the first two days. That will see me make the cut and we will take it from there,” Rugumayo told Daily Monitor adding that he seeks to make history as first Ugandan to cross the redline at the meet.

“I just have to focus and swing well. Yes I know I’m coming up against seasoned players but I just have to play my game and play well,” the Tooro Club golfer said.

A day to tee-off (Wednesday), Rugumayo received a package worth 200,000 Kenya Shillings (about 6,200,0000 Uganda Shillings) from Kenya Vision 2030 and the 2017 Uganda Amateur Open winner says he’s ready to go.

Rugumayo (right) received a major sponsoship boost from Kenya Vision 2030 just hours to tee-off.

Game on.

After a two week layoff the DP World Tour finally returns with the Magical Kenya Open, a surprisingly long running event with a rich history and an impressive past champions list.

A stalwart of the secondary Challenge Tour since 1991, the event was elevated to European Tour status in 2019 when Guido Migliozzi became the third Italian in 12 years to hoist the trophy after Lorenzo Gagli the previous year and Edoardo Molinari in 2007.

Justin Harding won the Kenyan Open in 2021 and returned this week to defend the unique trophy.

Justin Harding (left) was awarded the 2021 title by Kenya President H.E Uhuru Kenyatta

While the field doesn’t boast quite such firepower this year this is a national Open worthy of respect.

While the Tour’s biggest stars remain in the U.S. in the run up to the Players Championship and The Masters, a decent field has made the trek to Kenya this week.

While there is a large representation of local players, the past two champions have returned with Justin Harding and Guido Migliozzi both in the field.

Both will again be among the favourites this week, Harding’s record particularly impressive with a victory and a runner-up in two appearances.


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