NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 7 – The top eight qualifiers to the Kenya Open Golf Championship will be decided at the final Safari Tour event to be held at the Windsor Golf Hotel and Country Club from February 16 -20.
According the Patrick Obath, the Kenya Open Tournament Director, the Safari Tour was the principal ranking route for qualification into the Kenya Open.
“Since August 2018, we have staged five Safari Tour events and at each of these legs the golf professionals have been awarded points based on their performance; the better the performance the more points gained,” Obath said.
“The top eight participants from the Safari Tour will be announced at the end of the sixth leg at Windsor and these eight Pros will be awarded a slot into the Kenya Open Golf Championship 2019,” Obath added.
Muthaiga’s Greg Snow currently leads the Safari Tour ranking with 95.5 points following his fourth-place finish at Nyali, victory at Vet Lab Sports Club, first place finish at Limuru Country Club and victory at Thika Greens and Muthaiga Golf Club. Snow was on top form at Muthaiga, winning that leg of the Tour with a 15-stroke lead.
Mumias resident Professional Dismas Indiza is second with 92 points having been consistent throughout the Tour.
He finished second in Nyali, lost to Snow in a playoff at Vet Lab, he was T3 in Limuru, second at Thika Greens and T2 at Muthaiga.
Golf Park’s David Wakhu is third with 61.5 points; he was victorious at the first Safari Tour event at Nyali but has been inconsistent since then, failing to score a single point in Thika Greens for example.
Kenya’s most decorated golf professional at the Kenya Open, Jacob Okello is currently lying joint ninth with 42.5 points, only five points shy of eighth placed Madoya.
Okello, Nyali’s Ngugi Njuguna and Uganda’s Philip Kasozi have a mathematical chance of qualifying after the Windsor leg.
Only Snow and Indiza are safe, Wakhu requires 1.5 points at Windsor to finish among the top eighth and qualify for the Kenya Open whilst Charania, who will be playing on his home course, will need at least 3.5 points to qualify.
Indiza will go to Windsor looking for his maiden victory at the Safari Tour whilst Snow will be looking to prove that his resounding victory at Muthaiga was not a fluke. Wakhu, Charania, Ngige and Wangai will be fighting for a place in the top eight and an automatic place in the Kenya Open.
Only 17 professional golfers have a chance to make it into the top eight of the Safari Tour.
In addition to the Kenya Open qualification slots, the Professionals will be playing for a total prize kitty of KShs 3million courtesy of Magical Kenya, Barclays Bank of Kenya and Johnnie Walker. The winner of the Windsor leg will take home Sh450,000.