NAIROBI, Kenya, March 23- The Barclays Kenya Open received a Sh3m boost from Coca-Cola on Friday through the firm’s bottled water brand Dasani.
The cheque was presented to the Kenya Open Golf Limited chairman Peter Kanyago by Peter Njonjo, Coca-Cola’s General Manager- East Africa franchise.
“Coca-Cola is proud of our association with the tournament. We are happy to come on board as the official water sponsors of the tournament yet again, and through this journey we have been able to see the profile of tournament grow, and due to this growth, we have been able to even increase our sponsorship, up from last year’s Sh1.5m,” Njonjo said.
Entries closed for the Open and the full complement of 156 players has been filled.
The event will run from March 29 to April 1 at the par 71 Muthaiga Golf Club where organisers agreed to add three more Kenyan pros to the roster on Friday.
According to the Professional Golfers of Kenya (PGK) chairman, Charan Thethy, the country’s contingent that had been pegged at 20 will now feature 23.
“The organisers have agreed to our request to feature three more players. This is the biggest event we have in the country and as such, we should have more Kenyan players as opposed to cutting their number,” Thethy said.
On Thursday, pros who were fielding in the Jamii Telecom PGK Masters, the last build-up event for the country’s exponents at the Kenya Open had threatened to pull out en masse if the three were not added.
For the first time in championship’s history, two pro -ams will be held. One will be held at Muthaiga Golf Club, sponsored by the Barclays Bank of Kenya while the other will be held at the Karen Country Club and will be sponsored by Kenya Airways in partnership with Boeing Dreamliner.
Five winners from last year’s Challenge Tour events including Michiel Bothma, the winner of the Barclays Kenya Open 2011, have confirmed their participation.
A total of 26 countries will be represented, the highest number in recent history.
The compliment of Kenyans is completed by six amateurs. Other African countries participating include South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda.