MKO 2024 Round 2 overview: Tough luck for Kenyan players as none makes cut

Friday, February 23rd, 2024 19:13 | By
Dismas Indiza takes a swing at the 17th tee during MKO 2024 Second Round
Dismas Indiza takes a swing at the 17th tee during MKO 2024 Second Round. PHOTO/Alex Njue

Not a single Kenyan has made the cut following Round 2 of action at the 2024 Magical Kenya Open-DP World Tour Championship (MKO) currently ongoing at the Par 71 Muthaiga Golf Club with cut-off being level par.

However, the biggest spectacle of the day was two former Kenya Open Champions Justin Harding of South Africa and Guido Migliozzi of Italy were eliminated in a day of high drama as they both failed to make a mark this year. Harding is a two-time champion in Kenya while Migliozzi is a three-time DP World Tour winner.

It was a literal struggle for the local boys out on a difficult course who had issues with their drivers due to heavy winds. The afternoon session seemed easier compared to the inconsistencies of the morning conditions which were also coupled with sunlight.

Home players Mutahi Kibugu, Njoroge Kibugu and Greg Snow despite spirited efforts failed to make headway in a day of utter frustration for both players and fans alike.

Last year's lone Kenyan player to make the cut Njoroge Kibugu, 20, only managed a score of +3 (145) after two days of action on this year's edition and was visibly annoyed with his performance. Veteran Dismas Indiza, 55, of Mumias Golf Club finished on +2(144) and was the highest Kenyan tied in position 80 overall after sinking four birdies in the 10, 12, 16 and 18th holes. The ABSA Bank & Johnnie Walker sponsored time Safari Tour winner was however not as happy with his overall performance.

"I started not so well with my putter not doing justice to my game. The four initial bogeys were a disaster but I somehow recovered in the back nine but was a bit late. I feel like there was pressure for us but I believe we should be preparing well for such events with more corporations sponsoring players outside so that we can be at par with our foreign counterparts. The Sunshine Tour in South Africa is great for build-ups and maybe even the government can chip in," he told the media.

Kenya's top amateur Michael Karanga, 29, who was making a third stab also had a good effort finishing on Par in Round 2. However, his overall score of 145 only made him finish +4 on the leaderboard and in joint position 100.

"I am happy with my performance and I believe I did my best it was a good test ahead of my April trip to the USA for an invitational tournament. My game worked since I balanced three bogeys and three birdies to end level Par," Karanga said.

Jastas Madoya and John Lejirma facials expressing disappointment with one hole to go the MKO 2024
Jastas Madoya and John Lejirma facials expressing disappointment with one hole to go. PHOTO/Alex Njue

Meanwhile, the leaderboard changed at the top after Round 2 with Scotsman Connor Syme and Finnish Tapio Fulkan cleaning up the course alongside Round 1 leader Darius Van Driel to close at -7(64) score.

The top African player on the leaderboard after Day 2 was Louis De Jagger, 36, who had a finishing score of -4(137) even as Ugandan Ronald Rugumayo ended his journey in Nairobi with a score of Par(142) and by so doing emerging the lone East African making it through the dreaded cut.

Leaderboard - Day 2 MKO

Conor Syme -7(135)
Tapio Pulkannen -7(135)
Darius Van Driel -7(135)
Sam Hutsby -6(136)
Manuel Elvira -6(136)
Ewen Ferguson -6(136)
Frederic LaCroix -5(137)
Deon Germishuys-5(137)
Lucas Vacarisas -5(137)
Tom Lewis -5(137)

Kenyan Players Leader list

Dismas Indiza +2(144)
Njoroge Kibugu +3(145)
Michael Karanga +6(146)
Mutahi Kibugu +6(148)
Greg Snow +8 (150)
Jastas Madoya +9(151)
John Lejirma+9 (151)
Daniel Nduva +10 (152)
Mohit Mediratta+12 (154)
Samuel Njoroge +12(154)

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