NAIROBI, Kenya, February 21 – Kenya Open Golf Limited (KOGL) has reserved 17 slots for local professionals with five more to be added from next week’s Jamii Telcom PGK Masters qualifiers to obtain the 22 who will tee-off in the 2014 Barclays Kenya Open.
The opening round of the 2014 European Challenge Tour will run from March 6 to 9 at the Karen Country Club with KOGL announcing it will be preceded by two Pro-Am events at the tournament venue and Muthaiga Golf Club.
Speaking Friday during the presentation of Coca-Cola East Africa sponsorship worth Sh8.6m (USD 99, 825.96), KOGL chairman Peter Kanyago, said they would finalise the list of 17 by the end of the day with the announcement of local pros who will take part in the event to be made after the Jamii qualifiers.
“We are on final stages of the preparation and the course is in top condition since it has been raining. As usual organisation will be first class because we hope to have a successful competition this year.
“Our patron who is retired President, Mwai Kibaki, has agreed to grace the event, we have also extended the invite to President Uhuru Kenyatta who is yet to confirm,” Kanyago stated.
General Manager, Peter Njonjo, said part of the package will go towards organising the Muthaiga Pro-Am.
“By putting our entire portfolio behind this year’s tournament, we underscore our continued commitment to supporting the sport and making it popular in our country and internationally.”
Kenya Open which is part of the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) tour has attracted players from around the globe, with a total of 156 competitors expected from Africa, America and Asia.
The prestigious competition will also feature six local amateurs namely; John Karichu, Nelson Simwa, Tony Omuli, Robinson Owiti, Justus Madoya and Daniel Nduva.
This year’s prize money is € 200,000 (Sh23, 634,778.7) up from last year’s € 190,000 (Sh22, 457,021.92).
Winner will receive €32,000 (3,778,468.21).
Kenya will be looking to better her last year performance where five local professionals made the cut.
Greg Snow was the first Kenyan golfer in 2013 after finishing 34th while Timbe Kopan (39th) David Odhiambo (46th), Ngugi Njuguna (51st) and Brian Njoroge (58th) all made through the prize money bracket.