Rugumayo on hunt for Sunshine Tour card

Rugumayo plays a bunker shot at Muthaiga Golf Club. PHOTO/SILAS KIPLAGAT 

What you need to know:

Money Game. Spaniard Jorge Campillo pocketed Shs1.2b for his triumph at the Magical Kenya Open whereas East Africa’s finest Mutahi Kibugu took home a total of Shs48m with Uganda’s Rugumayo picking a consolation return air-ticket for two to any destination of his choice courtesy of Kenya Airways for his whole in one feat.

NAIROBI. Ronald Rugumayo is a calmness personified character. It is hard to see the Ugandan professional golfer get animated. But the past week has been a whole new world to Rugumayo. His feathers were ruffled and for the first time in his career many saw him play shots out of hunger.

This was especially at the back-nine of Muthaiga Golf Club on Day Two of the Magical Kenya Open (MKO) – a DP World Tour event. Rugumayo went on to shoot an insipid round of four-over 75 to bow out with an aggregate of nine-over and miss the coveted Shs6.8b prize money cut by 10 strokes.

The soul searching and aftermath was candid and it was evident that Rugumayo doesn’t want a pity party.

“What am I going to do there?” shot back Rugumayo while replying to one particular question on his next plan on return to Uganda.

“There is nothing there for me. I will just go back home for one week and reflect on my game as I cool off. There are many things I could have done better at the Open. But that is history and it’s in the past. I want to be out of Uganda. I will head to South Africa for Qualifying School.”

The man nicknamed Mayo added; “My aim is to get the Sunshine Tour card and play competitions of this magnitude regularly. I am ready for the tough life on tour and I hope sponsors and my well-wishers are ready to back me up.”

Little consolation

Mayo’s consolation from the 54th edition was the hole-in-one feat on the 201-yard par-three No.2 on Day One which won him a return air-ticket for two to any destination courtesy of Kenya Airways.

But he didn’t partake in the cash-pot sharing where overall winner Spaniard Jose Campillo pocketed Shs1.2b after he burned down the Muthaiga course with a total aggregate of 18-under 266 after four rounds.

East Africa’s only professional to play at the weekend Mutahi Kibugu, born in Uganda, smiled away with Shs48m for his joint 65th place finish after carding one-under 283 – Shs28m as an additional reward from event title sponsors Absa for diligently representing the nation.

Rugumayo’s to-do-list includes; getting the Shs1.4m entry fees for the first stage of Q-School, find the required logistics (feeding, accommodation and local transport fees) while in South Africa and  beating the March 20 registration deadline for the Sunshine Tour Qualifying School First Stage at Heron Banks River & Golf Estate in Benoni, South Africa.



1. Jorge Campillo             (ESP)      69 68 63 66 266 (-18)

2. Kawamura Masahiro (JPN)     67 67 68 66 268 (-16)

T3. Tarrio Santiago          (ESP)      71 68 64 66 269 (-15)

T3. Ryo Hisatsune            (JPN)     70 63 71 65 269 (-15)

T5. Lukas Nemecz            (AUS)     67 68 69 66 270 (-14)

T5. Virto Boja                    (ESP)      66 68 70 66 270 (-14)

T6. Robert Macintyre     (SCO)     71 65 65 70 271 (-13)

T6. Jayden Schaper         (SA)        68 65 69 69 271 (-13)

T6. Chesters Ashley         (ENG)    68 72 65 66 271 (-13)

T6. Julien Brun                  (FRA)     70 68 67 66 271 (-13)

Qualifying School – Stage 1

Date: April 3-6, 2023

Practice Round: April 2, 2023

Venue: Heron Banks Golf & River Estate

Location: Benoni, Gauteng Province

Yardage: 7396 (yards) 6762 meters

Rounds: 4 (72 holes)

Expected Field: 156 players

Already Registered: 94

Registration Deadline: March 20, 2023

Entry Fee: R7,000 (Shs1.4m)