NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 6- The Kenya Open Golf Limited (KOGL) has announced a Sh2mn sponsorship towards the Professional Golfers of Kenya’s preparations for the 2018 Barclays Kenya Open Golf Championship.
This year’s tournament will see a field of 22 Kenyan golfers go against over 100 international professionals for a total prize kitty of Sh62.5mn (£500,000) – the biggest kitty on the European Challenge Tour.
Speaking during the cheque hand over at the Muthaiga Golf Club, KOGL Chairman, Peter Kanyago, expressed the board’s commitment towards improving golf standards in the country.
“At the Kenya Open Golf Limited, we remain deeply committed to ensure that the sport of golf grows, not just among the professional players, but also among the junior players. We trust that this (sponsorship) will go towards helping the pros prepare adequately and give them a better chance at winning this year’s tournament,” he said.
The deal will also see the Kenyan professionals receive specialized training ahead of the tournament, as part of their preparations.
“As part of the partnership, we will be sponsoring two professionals from South Africa, who have been engaged by the Professional Golfers of Kenya to train the local professionals ahead of this year’s Kenya Open. In addition, there will also be a trainer to help our local Pros work on the nutrition and mental part of the game,” added Kanyago.
Last year, the Kenya Open Golf Limited organized for two European teaching professionals to come to Kenya to train the local professionals in a bid to enhance their skills ahead of the 2017 tournament.
The training lasted three days and covered all the professionals that had qualified for the 2017 Barclays Kenya Open Championship.
Speaking at the same event, Professional Golfers of Kenya Chairman Charan Thethy thanked KOGL for their generous donation and assistance in the preparations for the Kenya Open and assured them that the money will be put into good use.
“This gesture comes at the right time as we are in the middle of the qualifying rounds for the tournament. This money will be put to good use and ensure that our pros as adequately prepared for the Kenya Open as possible,” he said.
The 2018 Kenya Open will be held from the 22nd to the 25th of March 2018 at the Muthaiga Golf club; with the final list of Kenyan players scheduled to take part in the tournament being made public in March after the conclusion of the 5-leg qualification tour that is being conducted by the Professional Golfers of Kenya.
“So far, we have had over 30 requests from international players who want to take part in this year’s tournament, compared to only 10 requests at a similar time last year. Over the coming weeks, we will announce details of some of the international and local players that will be taking part in this year’s tournament,” Kanyago disclosed.
The tournament will be preceded by two Pro-Am events on the 20th and 21st of March at Muthaiga.