The scramble for the limited Magical Kenya 2021 slots commences tomorrow when top amateurs converge at Vetlab for the annual Kenya Amateur Matchplay Championship. A record field of 108 players will sweat it out for four days in the event that also counts towards the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR). Two foreigners- Rwanda’s Celestine Nsanzuwera and Sigmund Haland from Norway will also be on parade at the long-playing Vetlab course.
Defending champion Paul Muchangi from Limuru Country Club will face strong opposition from Simon Njogu, Jay Sandhu, Isaac Makokha, Dennis Maara and John Lejirma. Kenya’s top amateur Samuel Njoroge of Railway Golf Club has opted out of the event. Njoroge, playing of +4 handicap, has commenced the process of upgrading to professional status. Also missing in action is Mathew Wahome, last year’s quarter finalist, who has since turned pro and last year’s runner-up William Odera.
Following the cancellation of this year’s Kenya Amateur Golf Ranking, thanks to a Covid-19 enforced six month lull, pundits can only second-guess the tournament favourite.
19 juniors led by top-ranked Mutahi Kibugu and the impressive Taimur Malik will be hoping to cause an upset during the four-day championship.
After a grueling 36-hole strokeplay knockout rounds on Thursday, only 32 players will proceed to the weekend matchplay rounds.
The Kenya Amateur Matchplay Championship, organized by Kenya Golf Union (KGU), is the oldest and most prestigious match play event in Kenya. The event was first held in 1910.