Amateur Golfers Promise To Rumble In 2024 Kenya Open

From left: Deaflympics bronze medalist Isaac Makokha, John ‘Samburu One’ Lejirma, NCBA Group MD John Gachora, Josephat Rono and Michael Karanga

SIGONA, Kenya- Little known Josphat Rono is among the five amateur players who have qualified for the 2024 Magical Kenya Open set for Muthaiga Golf Club in Nairobi on February 22-25.

Others are John ‘Samburu One’ Lejirma, Deaflympics bronze medalist Isaac Makokha, Africa’s second-best hitter Michael Karanga and Taimur Malik.

The gang of five was on Wednesday unveiled in Sigona by the NCBA Group who are supporting their mission for glory in the DP World Tour leg.

” It will be my first time in the Kenya Open and I can’t wait. My prayer is that I settle for a respectable position, maybe top a 20, that won’t be bad,” Rono told Standard Sports.

Nelly Wainaina (R) – NCBA Group Marketing, Communication & Citizenship hands over the Bank’s sponsorship to Junior Golf Foundation (JGF) Kenya President Regina Gachora at Sigona Golf Club today.

The promising Golf Park hard hitter believes the sponsorship boost to the quintet will help him realise the lofty dream he has for the championship.

Lejirma, who prides himself as the only Samburu to ever embrace the gentleman’s game, will be making his third attempt in the tournament this year. He missed the cut in 2022 and 2023 seasons.

The Railways golfer has gone back to the drawing board where he has left no stone unturned in his adequate preparations for the event.

” Together with my coach John Liefland, we have worked on my short game that failed me last year. This season I’m not targeting much, but just to make the cut, this would be great,” Lejirma underlined.

Kenya amateur finest Karanga feels he is much ready for the tournament after sweeping all the major accolades available for him last season.

He is not only the reigning Kenya Amateur Golf Championship (KAGC) series winner, but Karanga was recently named second best player in the continent and 76th the world over, and this has boosted his confidence ahead of the Kenya Open.

” I love my body, it feels great. I’m well prepared for the battle ahead in Muthaiga.The good thing is that I’m headed there knowing what to do than a few years ago when I was clueless in Karen,” Karanga said.

To deaf player Makokha, qualifying for the prestigious event for the second time is such a huge honor and he hopes his bronze medal feat at the Deaflympics in Brazil will give him a morale booster.

” My putting is OK, but the long shots are still not impressive, so I will head back to Vipingo where I have been training to perfect the shots,” Makokha highlighted through his wife who is an interpretor.

Apart from the support accorded to the amateur players at Sigona, NCBA Group also boosted the 2024 KAGC series to a tune of Sh6 million. The bank will also support this year’s Junior Golf Foundation (JGF) events to a tune of Sh12 million.

While singing the record deals, NCBA Group Managing Director John Gachora stated: “Golf plays a major role in bringing people together, so as a bank, we recognize this spirit, it is the reason we are promoting sports in this country.”

NCBA Managing Director John Gachora (L) presents the Bank’s sponsorship to Kenya Golf Union Chairman Phillip Ocholla and Limuru Country Club’s amateur golfer Dennis Maara (middle) at Sigona Golf Club.

Kenya Golf Union (KGU) chairman Phillip Ochola hailed the partnership with NCBA Group saying the junior players now have a reason to stage their tournament alongside the amateurs this season as a result of the massive financial boost.

At the same time, the KGU has unveiled squads for the upcoming international tournaments including the Magical Kenya Ladies Open (Vipingo, Kilifi on February 8-11), the Africa Amateur Championship (South Africa, February 21-24) and the Victoria Cup (Kampala, Uganda, February 1-4).

Kenya Golf Union squads for upcoming international events

Magical Kenya Open – Amateur Participants

(February 22nd -25th, Muthaiga Golf Club, Nairobi)

Isaac Makokha

John Lejirma

Josphat Rono

Michael Karanga

Taimur MalikAfrica

Magical Kenya Ladies Open, Vipingo, Kilifi (February 22-25)

Naomi Wafula

Jackie Walters

Chanelle Wangari

Mercy Nyanchama

Kellie Gachaga

Victoria Cup 2024 – Kampala, Uganda (February 1st – 4th)

Adel Balala

Danny Chelogoi

Dennis Maara – Team Captain

Ebill Omollo

Elvis Muigua

John Lejirma

Josphat Rono

Krish Beiju

Michael Karanga

Sammy Mulama

Africa Amateur Championship – South Africa (February 21st -24th)

Adel Balala

Dennis Maara

Ebill Omollo

Elvis Muigua

Mikael Kihara

Sammy Mulama

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *