Up close with Mutahi Kibugu
Amateur golfer Mutahi Kibugu. [Mose Sammy, Standard]

What sort of shape are you in at the moment?

Mutahi: Great, I must say. Actually, my game is in top shape. I’ve been working hard on some aspects of my game and yes, I’m almost where I want to be.

With the Magical Kenya Open and KAGC events postponed, what will you be doing in the meantime?

Mutahi: I’ve been working on my long game, which is getting better. I’m happy with my consistency too, especially, now that a new date has been announced. I’m practicing even more, just to be ready for the main event.

How did it feel when you got a wild card for the Magical Kenya Open?

Mutahi: It felt good for sure, but I also thought that I deserved the chance because I had some impressive performances earlier in the year. It’s an honour to participate in the Magical Kenya Open, which is a premier event.

Whom did you yearn to be paired up with or playing against?

Mutahi: In Magical Kenya Open? I don’t know maybe Italian Francesco Molinari. I didn’t exactly know who else was coming to the tournament. 

What were your expectations at the Magical Kenya Open?

Mutahi: I was looking to set the bar high, quite high, because it was going to be my second time in the world-class tournament. I was looking to make the cut. I believe I will make an impact at the Magical Kenya Open and the sport of golf.  

Up close with Mutahi Kibugu
Kibugu in action during the Kenya Amateur Matchplay Championship at Thika Greens Golf Resort, in Kiambu county, June 17, 2018. [Mose Sammy, Standard]

Has your top form on the course surprised you?

Mutahi: No! It hasn’t. I had been working extremely hard on my game and there were signs last year that this was coming especially when I won at Winston Churchill. That victory really gave me a big boost. It was a good sign that my game was headed in the right direction.

What has been your best experience?

Mutahi: While growing up, I saw some of Kenya’s best players in action and it was a great motivation, but the prestige of amateur golf is not what it was before. A lot has changed!

Are you through with your education? 

Mutahi: I finished high school last year and I’m currently in university.

Who inspired your pre-shot routine?

Mutahi: Did you have to ask that? My coach John van Leifland did the trick. Initially, it was just a drill, then it turned into my pre-shot routine.

Any events you may want to participate in?

Mutahi: The Masters for sure and also some big amateur events in South Africa.

What’s your take on the state of golf in Kenya?

Mutahi: I think the game is not at it’s best at the moment. Much is not being done to develop and advance the game. Our players don’t get much exposure through clinics and organised tournaments.

Up close with Mutahi Kibugu
Kibugu (left) receives a plate from President Uhuru Kenyatta during the 2019 Magical Kenya Open held at Karen Golf and Country Club in Nairobi. [Mose Sammy, Standard] 

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