NAIROBI, Kenya, March 31 – 2009 champion Gary Boyd from England and Spaniard José Manuel are among top players entered for 2015 Barclays Kenya Open Golf Championship to be held at Karen Country Club from April 9-12.
Nigerian Andrew Odo is among the six players selected from the Sunshine Tour of South Africa whilst the rest of the East African region will be represented by Ugandan Deo Akope and Rwanda’s top professional golfer Jean-Baptiste Hakizimana.
This year’s Open will feature players from 19 countries with pro golfers coming from as far afield as Chile, Argentina and the largest chunk from Europe.
Tournament Director Patrick Obath, speaking during the launch of “hole in one” Chevrolet Trailblazer car presentation by Pewin Motors at Karen CC, said seven of the 106 players drawn from the European Challenge Tour were winners of various rounds last year.
Entries for the Kenya Open closed on March 26, with the Challenge Tour taking the largest chunk of 106, organisers of Kenya Open KOGL have 50 slots which they distribute to various local and international golfers on merit.
Obatha said selections were done meticulously and on merit.
“We have an obligation to add value to the tournament. Many African countries were asked to nominate their top pros in December but never responded to the call.”
Obath said the Professional Golfers of Kenya (PGK) have been allocated 22 slots while Kenya Golf Union have 6 amateurs nominated through the Golfer of the Year (GOTY) series.
The 22 pros from Kenya include Dismas Indiza and Greg Snow who qualified by virtue of making cuts at last year’s Kenya Open.
Manuel is a Spanish professional golfer while Gary Stuart Boyd is an English professional golfer who currently plays on the European Tour.
Manuel was born in Valencia Spain, turned professional in 1997 and has competed on the European Tour since 2001, having finished 11th in the previous seasons Challenge Tour rankings.
Chevrolet local dealers Pewin Motors Limited in conjunction with General Motors are on board to sponsor the Hole in One for the 2015 Barclays Kenya Open to the tune of Ksh. 2m (USD 21,654.85).
Over and above the cash sponsorship, Pewin Motors are also offering a Chevrolet Trailblazer 2015 model worth Ksh.5.1 million (16,241.14) for the first amateur or pro to obtain a hole in one at the 13th hole.
“The success of Barclays Kenya Open would not be achieved without the support received from the large local base of corporate sponsors. We hope to see one of our local players not only leave the Karen Club with the Championship, but hopefully he will do so in a brand new Chevrolet Trailblazer,” KOGL chairman, Peter Kanyago declared.
With less than a week to tee off, the tournament has reached the penultimate stage of planning, with organisers and tournament officials putting on the final touches on what promises to be a grueling and competitive event.
This year, the tournament will once again attract players from around the globe; with competitors expected from the East Africa region, Africa, Europe, the Americas and Asia.
The first ProAm will be held on April 7 and the second on April 8 at Karen.