NAIROBI, Kenya, February 26 – Organisers of the 2014 Barclays Kenya Open have tipped the number of local golfers making the cut to double from last year as preparations hit top gear for the March 6 to 9 European Challenge Tour opener at Nairobi’s Karen Country Club.
With the list of local professionals to be completed after the end of the Jamii PGK tournament on Thursday, organisers are expecting ten of them to play over four days as opposed to five who made the cut last year.
The assertion was made by Francis Okwara Wednesday during the presentation of Tusker Malt Lager sponsorship worth Sh5m (USD57,816.9).
“We have encouraged our local pros to be part of the winning team since there are many corporate that have promised to reward those who make the cut.
“We had the finals of the Barclays golf series to hype up the event and encourage other golfers to come and watch the tournament. The cause is in super condition, the greens are running well but the roughs are little difficult, so it will be a challenge for the pros and I foresee a very enjoyable competition,” the organiser stated.
Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) Managing Director Joe Muganda, encouraged local pros to take advantage of the home turf and win the championship.
“The tournament is Kenya’s and indeed East Africa’s most prestigious golf championship and we are proud to be associated with it.
“Our main aim is to see the growth of the sport in the country and see many amateurs turn pros and compete amongst the best golfers all over the world,” the KBL chief stated.
Kenya Open which is part of the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) tour has attracted a total of 156 players with the host entering 22.
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).
Spaniard Garcia Pinto will be defending the title as Kenyans Greg Snow, Timbe Kopan, David Odhiambo, Ngugi Njuguna and Brian Njoroge who made the cut last year will be looking to have a successful outing.