Fresh from registering his first win of the season in the Kenya Amateur Golf Championship, KAGC, at the Windsor Classic, rising junior star Mutahi Kibugu is heading to South Africa to compete in the elite amateur events in a bid to improve his ranking in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, WAGR, Order of Merit.
Kibugu, who played in the South Africa Amateur Stroke Play Championship earlier this year, is scheduled to participate in four events from October to December in his sunset days as an amateur.
Before heading south, the handicap zero Muthaiga Golf Club junior golfer will be hoping to sign out with another victory in the upcoming KAGC Kabete Open to boost his confidence ahead of what will no doubt be a gigantic task. He is currently in position 1039 in the WAGR, down from a personal best of 919.
Kibugu seems to have hit form at the right time as evidenced by his exploits in the last three KAGC outings. A wire-to-wire finish saw him crowned the Windsor Classic 2021 champion with a one stroke lead over KAGC series leader Michael Karanga as the youngster earned his fourth career title.
“This is my sweetest victory. Being on top of the leaderboard on all three days was just awesome. I didn’t expect the Windsor course to give us such a tough test but kudos to the organizers for setting it so tough. Not only were the pin positions tricky, the course played quite long and this coupled with the tough greens was a really tough test for us,” said Kibugu who shot 74, 78 and 76 for a gross score of 228.
Following his weekend success, Kibugu moved six places up the KAGC Order of Merit to close the week in position seven. Though he has an impressive scoring average of 34 points per event after participating in only four rounds out of nine, Kibugu will not challenge for the title thanks to his prolonged absence in the championship due to overseas assignments, a move that might endanger his chances for playing at Magical Kenya Open 2022. The KAGC series will be used to select players to Magical Kenya 2022 with the final ranking determined from points accumulated in a player’s best 10 rounds during the calendar year.
The alumnus of South Africa’s Balderstone Sports Institute is planning to join the pro ranks next year and believes that Kenyan golfers have what it takes to take on the South Africans at the amateur and pro levels albeit with good planning and focus.
Meanwhile, the top four positions in the KAGC Order of Merit remained unchanged following last weekend’s conclusion of the Windsor Classic, the ninth event on the calendar. However, series leader Karanga widened the gap after finishing runner up to harvest 48 points in an outing his closest challengers, John Lejirma and Dennis Maara faltered.
KAGC ORDER OF MERIT 2021
M. Karanga 381
J. Lejirma 283
D Maara 222
E. Omollo 181
A. Balala 177
P. Rimui 176
M. Kibugu 137
T. Malik 110
P. Muchangi 108
B. Ciera 80