Kenyan golfer withdraws from Magical Kenya Open showdown
From Left; Local Pro Golfers Dismas Indiza, Samuel Njoroge, Robson Chonoi, Jacob Okello, Riz Charania, Matthew Omondi and Greg Snow pose for a photo at Uhuru Park on March 03, 2021. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

A Kenyan golfer will not participate in the much-awaited Magical Kenya Open showdown set to kick-off on Thursday at the Karen Golf and Country Club.

Muthaiga Golf Club’s Mutahi Kibugu, one of the six amateurs who was to play at this year’s Kenya Open has withdrawn from the tournament after his caddy tested positive for COVID-19.

In golf, a caddie (or caddy) is the person who carries a player’s bag and clubs, and gives the player advice and moral support.

Kenyan golfer withdraws from Magical Kenya Open showdown
Muthaiga’s Mutahi Kibugu displays his trophy after emerging as the overall winner on 295 gross Junior Strokes Play Championship in 2017. [Maarufu Mohamed, Standard]

The tournament slated for March 18-21 has attracted five former champions including the 2017 winner, Kenyan born Aaron Rai of the United Kingdom.

Others are Sebastian Soderberg of Sweden, Haydn Porteous of South Africa and the Italian duo of Lorenzo Gagli and Guido Migliozzi.

This year’s tournament will also be different in that players, caddies, officials and the media will be subjected to operate from a bubble due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

“There will be pre-tests for everyone before the event. After that, everybody will enter the bubble where they will operate from until the end of the two European Tour events (Kenya Open and the Kenya Savannah Classic),” tournament director Patrick Obath said, adding that daily random tests will be done and that players will be tested after every event.

All parties involved in both tournaments will stay in two designated hotels. The organisers have also secured an exclusive transport system to and from the venue and hotels.

Kenya’s free-to-air television network, KTN, which is the official tournament media partner, will, for five hours everyday, air the action live.

“Since we will not have fans at the venue, spectators are urged to tune in to KTN to watch the exciting live coverage everyday,” Obath pointed out.

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