This year is off to a great start! We began preparing for one event; the Magical Kenya Open, slated for March 18-21 and last week, the European Tour granted us a second event, the Kenya Savannah Classic from March 23-26.
With just one day of rest between the two tournaments, the golfers are up to a great test of endurance. A double-header on the European Tour during this Covid-19 pandemic times is not uncommon and it helps reduce exposure of players as they travel.
The opportunity to host two back-to-back events is a great honour to Kenyan golf. The fact the European Tour saw it fit to host the event here is a testament to Kenya’s attraction as a great golfing destination.
The fact that the two events are being hosted at the Karen Country Club, which was voted the best golf course in Kenya two years in a row, is the cherry on the cake.
The two tournaments will be televised live on KTN TV, SuperSport and many other channels across the world. Golf in Kenya will be beamed to about 490 million homes for two weeks in March.
This could not have come at a better time for the Kenyan tourism sector.
All that is left is to select the 12 Kenyans and three non-Kenyan members of the Safari Tour who will play in both events. We already have names of the six amateurs who are going to take part in the Magical Kenya Open.
They are Paul Muchangi of Limuru Country Club, who is the winner of the 2019 Kenya Amateur Matchplay Championship. Victor Joseph from Dar es Salaam Gymkhana, winner of the 2019 Kenya Amateur Strokeplay Championship.
Winner of the 2020 Kenya Amateur Matchplay championship Isaac Makokha from Vet Lab Sport Club, Jay Sandhu from Royal Nairobi Golf Club, who won the 2020 Kenya Amateur Strokeplay championship and the top two junior golfers in Kenya; Mutahi Kibugu and Taimur Malik, from Muthaiga Golf Club, complete the list of amateurs.
The last event of the 2020-2021 Safari Tour series starts tomorrow at the Karen Country Club.
Greg Snow is leading the Road to Magical Kenya Open order of merit and he is assured of a slot to tee it up at the two European Tour events.
The top eight on the list are also practically assured of playing in the tournaments. There will be a major battle for the last four slots reserved for Kenyans.
The same applies for non-Kenyans; only Robson Chinhoi from Zimbabwe is assured of a slot from the Safari Tour standing. The rest will be fighting for the remaining two slots.
Deo Akope and Phillip Kasozi, both from Uganda, are best placed to get the slots but it will all depend on the points they get at the Karen Country Club next Wednesday.
-Wang’ombe is the General Manager of Kenya Open Golf Limited