Rwanda's number one golf professional, Jean Baptiste Hakizimana has shifted attention on the forthcoming Barclays Kenya Golf Open Championships after claiming Kabale Open over the weekend.
The 24-year-old Hakizimana won the two-day competition by 135 net scores, having made 68 on Friday and 67 on Saturday at Kabale golf club.
He also scooped Ugshs1.4m (about Rwf350, 000) the top prize cash of the two-day competition. He had also previously won the 2012 and 2013 editions respectively.
Hakizimana overcame stiff challenge from Ugandans; Denis Angwiyo, Godfrey Monday, Fred Wanjara and Vincent Byamukama. Former champion Emmanuel Ruterana, another Rwandan put up a good fight but could only manage 7th place out of 16 competitors.
Talking to Times Sport in a phone interview on Monday, Hakizimana said winning the Kabale Open right before entering Kenya Open is a motivating factor and a big boost for his confidence.
“Winning this competition (Kabale Open) is good for me especially in terms of confidence boost and motivation. I wanted to use this competition to prepare for the Kenya Open, and I strongly believe I will put up an impressive performance,” he optimistically said.
He also noted that he wants to make amends for last year’s nightmare where he failed the cut,” last year, I was eliminated very early as a result of failing the cut, erasing that embarrassment is another reason for me to take the tournament seriously.”
This year’s Kenya Open is scheduled for April 9-12 Karen Country Club in Nairobi, Kenya. South Africa’s Jake Roos is the reigning champion.