*6th edition of MTN Golf classic
*Venue-Nyarutarama Golf Club
*Tee-off- 8 am
Even after trailing Thierry Ntaganda in the last couple of months, Jean Baptist Hakizimana still believes that he can rise to the occasion when this year’s MTN golf classic swings into action this morning at Kigali Golf Club in Nyarutarama.
After playing the sport for over three years, the 18-year-old has won a variety of competitions ranging from BCR monthly mugs, Rwandair Open but the MTN golf classic accolade has eluded him.
“I have a lot to prove,” Hakizimana said.
“I have won a number of big tournaments but also let a couple of others elude me like the MTN golf tournament. That doesn’t set well with me. I have a lot to prove to myself and to the people.
Hakizimana who is Rwanda’s top amateur golfer after Emmanuel Ruterana’s progress into the professional ranks will however have to contend with the likes of Aaron Musonde and Rajan Tiwari.
Musonde is the tournament’s reigning champion and according to KGC, he has vowed to defend his title. Tee-off is set for 8am and will have Shiv Singh, Gavin Cooper and South Africa’s Paul Raine teeing off first in Group one.
Meanwhile MTN Rwandacel Chief Executive Officer Themba Khumalo is also part of the contenders at the two-day event and will tee-off at 10am.
Over 72 golfers are vying for the day’s top accolade. Though locals have contributed the lions’ share, eight South African golfers from Ericsson South Africa and one Kenyan have also lined up for the event.
The event has four competitive categories; the main event which merges golfers from handicap (0-9), two subsidiary events handicap (10-19), (20-more) and the ladies’ category.
With handicap 21, the new BCR monthly mug record holder Ntaganda will compete in the subsidiary category.
“Of course in would have liked to compete in the main event but my handicap doesn’t allow me to so I’m going to do my best in my category for now,” the youngster said.
MTN has a variety of prizes at stake for the two-day event. Amongst the prizes include; special golfers’ trophies, internet connection, hand-sets and a variety of MTN gifts.
Meanwhile, Betsy King arrives today ahead of a three-day development clinic.
The American professional golfer who traveled with two ex-professional golfers Wendy Posillico and Renee Powell is expected to start the clinic tomorrow at Kigali Golf Club.