Local Golfers to experience world class golf

By Maarufu Mohamed: Friday, May 17th 2019 at 01:50 GMT +3 | Golf
KCB Group Chief Operating Officer Sam Makome. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

South African based ‘Sunshine Tour’ is extending its wings in Kenya’s capital City of Nairobi to stage its third international golf event next month.

This was disclosed yesterday during the launch of the 2019 Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Karen Masters golf tournament that will be staged at the 81-year-old par 72 Karen Country Club course from June 26th  to  June 30th,2019.

KCB yesterday partnered with the Standard Media Group, Johnnie Walker, Coca Cola, and DT Dobie to enhance the experience at the village for the thousands of golf fans expected to grace the event.

The Bank pumped  KShs. 70M with Ksh.15 Million set aside as prize money and other amounts to the organization for the promotion of the event which now a Sunshine tour tourney.

The ceremony was attended by among others the KCB Group Chief Operating Officer Sam Makome, Karen Country Club Chairman Louis Otieno, Karen Country club captain Mike Kingori, KCB Group Marketing and Communication Director Angela Mwirigi, Karen Country club Chairman Louis Otieno, KCB Karen Country club lady Captain Nelly Ayodo and Marketing Officials from the Standard Media group.

KCB Group Chief Operating Officer Sam Makome said the Sunshine Tour, one of the world’s major golf Tours, has raised the profile of the tournament, exposing pros and amateurs to the allure of playing in the world-class event and effectively growing golf on the African Continent.

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“We are redefining the golfing experience in the region and we are delighted to welcome top class golfers in the country for the tournament that has grown in its stature and nature,” said Makome.

He said KCB’s investment in the Karen Masters is informed by the need to continually support the expansion of sport tourism in East Africa which is one of the fastest growing sectors in the East Africa tourism industry.

“It resonates at many levels with KCB’s agenda to grow sports in East Africa as one of the biggest sponsors across disciplines. We are proud of our golf sponsorship novelty over the years. For us golf is an avenue of networking with our current and potential customers, “said Makome.

The tournament will bring together an estimated 152 Pros and 4 amateurs for four days of superb golf action.

About 100 of the Pros will fly in from the Sunshine Tour to join 47 local and regional golf professionals.

KCB Karen Masters Tournament Director Andy Watt said they have been working round the clock to meet the deadlines and ensure everything runs according to schedule.

“I am now happy to present a great course and facilities for the 2019 KCB Karen Masters. This year’s showdown presents four days of competition and a pro-am tournament. Indeed it’s all systems go for the event,” Said Watt;

According to the format, there will be a cut on Friday 28th June that will see 152 golfers reduced to 60 golfers and ties who will compete for top honours on Saturday and Sunday where the winner will earn the right to wear the Karen Masters Blue Jacket.

The Karen Country Club course Green Keeper Amos Gathua said the course that has been host to prestigious golf tournaments since 1937 is superbly maintained with greens built to the Professional Golf Association (PGA) standards.

“The Club has the best maintained golfing facilities in the region and the course stretches over 6000 yards covering some of the most scenic terrains Karen has to offer. We are ready for the golfers to come and enjoy both the game and the facilities, “said Gathua.

South African Golfer Michael Palmer from Bryanston Country Club is the defending champion after he closed a five-under-par 67  in the final round to beat off rival and Country mate  Merrick Bremner from  Els Club.

Other South African’s Pieter Moolman from Benoni Lake club and Tyrone Ryan from Kensington golf club shared the third slot.

The launch of the ‘Road to the Masters’ kicked off with a five-event golf series across the  Country in which each leg was played for total prize money of Sh. 500,000

It started at Sigona on February 25 and the second leg was hosted at Nyali in Mombasa on March 30th where Sigona and Thika Sports course.

The fourth leg moved to Nakuru golf club course on May 11 with the final qualifier set for June 15 at Royal Nairobi Course.

Each of the 5 Legs is being used as amateur qualification rounds for the Karen Masters Pro-Am where 6 winners are selected from each leg to participate in the main 2019 KCB Karen Country Club at Karen Country Club.

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