Karen leg of Safari Tour attracts record field

By Standard Sports: Saturday, February 22nd 2020 at 09:00 GMT +3 | Golf
Chanelle Wangari tees off during the Africa Junior Golf Championships in Zabula Golf and Country Club in South Africa at the weekend. [PHOTO: COURTESY]

The Karen Country Club leg of the 2019/2020 Safari Golf Tour Series has attracted a field of 60 professional golfers — the biggest number of professional entrants for a Safari Tour event in Kenya since its inception last year.

The leg, which tees off today with a Pro-Am ahead of the main tournament tomorrow, will have a Sh3 million prize kitty; with the winner banking Sh450,000 – making it the second most lucrative event on the 2019/2020 calendar after the Uganda Open.

The tournament will offer local and regional professional golfers the final opportunity to qualify for the Magical Kenya Open next month at the Karen Country Club.

Among the entrants are 40 Kenyan professional players, 10 Ugandans, four Zimbabweans, two Malawians, two Zambians, one Nigerian, and one Tanzanian. 

Three amateurs, Naomi Wafula, 13-year-old Chanelle Wangari, and Limuru Country Club’s Paul Muchangi, will also participate in the tournament.

Muchangi has already booked an elite amateur slot to play at this year’s Kenya Open — by virtue of winning last year’s Kenya Amateur Match Play contest — and will be using the Karen leg of the Safari Tour to prepare for next month’s Kenya Open.

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The Kenyan pros contingent will be led by Dismas Indiza who currently leads the Road to Kenya Open Ranking with 395.1 points. Simon Ngige, Greg Snow and Royal Nairobi Golf Club’s Eric Ooko — all of whom have booked their slots for the Kenya Open — are also expected to take part in the final leg of this season’s Tour.

Windsor’s Rizwan Charania, Golf Park’s David Wakhu, Muthaiga’s Kopan Timbe, and Sigona’s C J Wangai – who currently occupy the last four remaining Kenya Open qualification slots – are also part of the field.

They will expect heightened competition from Antony Juma, Jastas Madoya and Mohit Mediratta.

Among the regional golfers, key players to look out for include: Nigeria’s Andrew Odoh — who won the Kitante Open.

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