Lejirma ready to lead charges in Magical Kenya Open as amateurs vow to fight

Tuesday, February 20th, 2024 17:51 | By
Kenyan amateur Golf Captain John Lejirma during an interview with People Daily. PHOTO/Barry Sila
Kenyan amateur Golf Captain John Lejirma during an interview with People Daily. PHOTO/Barry Sila

John Lejirma has vowed to go big as Magical Kenya Open returns home this year at the Par 71 Muthaiga Golf Club Course.

The 30-year-old experienced amateur golfer and the national team's captain, who hails from Kenya Railways Golf Club, is drawing on lessons from the past to ensure that he and his four colleagues on the amateur list can compete head-to-head with some of the best professionals in the business, as well as local players.

Magical Kenya Open goal

Speaking to People Daily Digital on Monday, February 20, 2024, ahead of a practice session with his teammates, Lejirma pledged to bring a revolutionary approach to his own game.

"I have had some good runs in domestic golf but this is a big stage and for me, it is an opportunity to go out and shine. I'm personally happy that our Amateur Series has been very active and competitive. I want to do well which means if not Top 20 then be inside the cut. It is possible with belief and this course is familiar for many of us players," Lejirma said.

Lejirma, who secured a second-place finish in the KAGC series in 2024, highlights his achievements over the past few years as indicative of significant personal growth.

"Over the years, I believe I have become a better player and it is all about consistency and hard work. Nothing is easy and I have faced challenges just like some of my colleagues but the pressure is a privilege so we just take it.

"I have great accomplishments in my playing career and I'm very happy with the progress I have seen. Great respect to the Kenya Golf Union for the support in terms of logistics for local and regional tournaments which have allowed some of us to go out and showcase our talents," the soft-spoken golfer revealed.

The amateurs, who have participated in an average of 17 events, have witnessed the introduction of prize money in the local series.

This development has elevated the profile of the game and intensified competition. According to Lejirma, the frequency of tournaments available is a testament to the capabilities of players in this category.

"We can easily go head to head with our Pros and for this upcoming MKO, we know we can complement each other well so that we do great at home soil. We have adequately been prepared mentally and physically so it is all business now. I seriously hope to give these guys a run for their money," Lejirma added and thanked the union for ensuring all the golf miscellaneous items were sorted beforehand.

The Samburu County native was honoured as the 2022 Amateur Golfer of the Year after amassing a total of 594 points, boasting an average score of 71.85 per round.

MKO amateur reps

Alongside notable players such as Michael Karanga, Isaac Makokha, and Josephat Rono, KGU has assembled an impressive team, as noted by Lejirma.

"For most of us who had made it to play in this prestigious event before, it is something of a deja vu and so we want to get up to speed because there is no time to learn. A player like myself after my experience two years ago, I went back to the drawing board because it was necessary.

"Sometimes you meet bumps but you cannot give up. I have done a lot on my long game and so it is now time to execute what we have all been practicing since there is obviously skill and talent in the group. The mission is simple, battle to the end and give it my all," he concluded.

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