30 January 2013

Kenya: Ruterana, Hakizimana for Kenya Open

Professional golfers Emmanuel Ruterana and Jean Baptista Hakizimana will come up against some of the continent's best golfers when they take part in the Barclays Kenya Open championship that tees off on February 14 to 17 at the Karen Country Club in Nairobi.

Ruterana will be making his fourth appearance in the region's top ranked open with an objective of making the cut that has been elusive for Rwandan golfers since 2009.

He has a wildcard to compete directly in the tournament, while his compatriot Hakizimana must go through the qualification phase.

Hakizimana, who finished fourth in the KCB golf championship in Mombasa, last year, has the capacity to make the cut.

Ruterana has been impressive throughout the previous season doing well in tournaments staged in Kenya and Uganda.

The pair is facing financial constraints ahead of the tourney. They are still searching for funds to cover for their airfare, membership fee, competition fee, accommodation and caddies' fees. Each golfer needs US $2000 [Rwf. 1.2m].

Last year, Rwanda was given a single slot, which went to former caddie Hakizimana but he failed to make the cut (best 20 players), playing plus 8 (79) and 3 (74) on the first two opening rounds.

In 2009 and 2010, Ruterana failed to qualify for the second round.

The Euros 195,000 prize tournament is back at Karen after several years of staging it at Muthaiga Golf Club, the venue generally regarded as the home of Kenya Open.

The tournament is one of the top ten richest events in this season of the European Challenge Tour calendar.

England's Benson Seve won last year's edition, hosted at the Muthaiga Golf club.

Kenya Open director Kathleen Kahanya is expecting a tough competition when the 2013 edition kicks off 156 entries confirmed to take part in the event.

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