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SPORTS

Local players in Kenya Open qualifying series receive financial boost from Absa Group

GOLF By Robin Toskin | November 23rd 2019 | 3 min read
Barclays Kenya Marketing and Corporate Relations Director Caroline Ndungu (left) and golfer Simon Ngige at the Green Park golf course at the Great Rift Valley Lodge on Saturday November 23, 2019. [Standard Sports]

Simon Ngige, the top-ranked local during the Kenya Open in March is among nine Kenyan pros to who will benefit Sh5.2 million sponsorship by Absa Group Limited, operating in Kenya as Barclays.

The nine professional golfers are locked in the Safari Tour golf series in the run-up to 2020 Magical Kenya Open, presented by Absa, going on in Kenya and Uganda.

The sponsorship, announced Saturday, will cover the costs of participating in the remaining six legs of the Safari tour series for eight of the top ten pro golfers -according to the current Safari Tour ranking- as well as the youngest pro in the competition.

Announcing the sponsorship at the Green Park golf course at the Great Rift Valley Lodge where the sixth leg of the Safari Tour is ongoing, Barclays Kenya Marketing and Corporate Relations Director Caroline Ndungu said the sponsorship would enable the players to successfully prepare for the Magical Kenya Open scheduled for March next year.

Besides Ngiga, the other benefitting pros include the Professional Golfers of Kenya captain C.J Wangai, Eric Ooko, Riz Charania, Kopan Timbe, David Wakhu, Jastas Madoya, Mohit Mediratta, and the youngest pro-Mathew Wahome.

The golfers will don Absa-branded shirts throughout the Safari Tour competition. 

 “As a brand, we believe in connecting people’s dreams to the resources they need to achieve their aspirations, which is in line with our brand purpose of bringing possibilities to life. Given our long-standing association with the game of golf in this country, we fully recognise the need to support our pros to better prepare for the Open. It is through such partnerships that we can all play a part towards improving the performance of our Kenyan pros, and hopefully get a Kenyan winner in the future,” Ms. Ndung’u said.

Further, as part of the sponsorship, Absa announced that it would reward the top five Kenyan pros who make it to the Magical Kenya Open 2020 with a sponsorship of Sh250, 000 each.

That’s not all; any the Absa-sponsored Kenyan golfers who make it to the top 20 after the first two rounds in the 2020 MKO will receive an additional reward Sh500, 000. Those who make it to the top ten after the final round of the tournament will receive a further token of Kes1 million each. 

In partnership with the Professional Golfers of Kenya (PGK), the bank said it is working on a mentorship programme that would psychologically prepare all the Kenyan pro golfers for the main Open.

 “As a business, and more so as we transition from Barclays to Absa, we have a strong resolve to be an active force for good in our country and we will, therefore, continue investing in programmes such as these which encourage our professional players to successfully pursue their dreams,” said Ms. Ndungu. 

The Safari Tour will culminate in the 2020 Magical Kenya Open Golf Championship in March. The tournament was elevated to the prestigious European Tour status for the first time this year and is expected to attract more international players and position the country as an attractive investment destination.

Earlier this year, Absa announced an investment of Sh150 million in the 2019 and 2020 editions of the Magical Kenya Open tournament. 

After the Naivasha chapter, the Safari Tour will head to Muthaiga Golf Club, Thika Greens, Sigona Golf Club, Uganda Golf Club and finally the Karen Country Club before the main tournament.

 

Did You know?

Kenya Open title has been won by some of Europe’s biggest Ryder Cup stars such as Seve Ballesteros, Ian Woosnam

 

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