Golfer Madoya steps out to test might at Magical Kenya Open tournament

By Lynette Matheka
Friday, March 6th, 2020
Great Rift Valley’s Justus Madoya follows the flight of his shot at the 13th tee during the Pro-Am event of the Karen Country Club last year. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO

Great Rift Valley professional golfer Justus Madoya set the bar higher for himself after qualifying as one of the eight local golfers to battle it out with the best at next week’s Magical Kenya Open which will run as a European Tour event for the second year.

 After playing in a European Tour event, in last year’s Magical Kenya Open, where he made the cut and went on to finish T72 returning a score of five over par 289, Madoya believes he has what it takes to rank in the top 20 at the conclusion of this year’s four days of action.

 The 33-year-old, through the Safari Open, qualified for last year’s Magical Kenya Open as it was making its debut in the European Tour and vowed to make the chance count.

He went on to make the cut, for the first time in his three years at the stage, after the first two days of action at level par.

 “When I qualified for the competition last year I just wanted to play for the four days and that was the driving force to make cut for the first time.

Playing against golfers I have watched on television previously, in the biggest golfing stage, was an inspiring experience for me.

 “I was content with what I achieved then but this year I am aiming higher. A top 20 placing is within reach and I will go for it. My game is better as I feel my swinging has improved. I have had better preparations too.

There is thick grass near the fairways at the Karen course which could make playing harder, but I have a way around that,” said Madoya.

 Despite qualifying as the last placed Kenyan, in the Safari Tour, after missing points at Nyali and Kitante Open in Mombasa and Uganda, respectively, he says he is unfazed.

“This is a repeat of last year’s qualifiers. I qualified as the last golfer on the list that had 18 local golfers and that did not stop me from being in the top two,” added Madoya who turned pro in 2015 playing off handicap +2.

 Born and raised in Naivasha, his interest for golf was cultivated by his mother who was then working on the golf course as it was being built.

Since she could not afford the playing equipment, she went out of her way to talk to a caddie friend who took Madoya in and began coaching him.