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SPORTS

Tiger Woods' niece among top stars at Vipingo

GOLF By Maarufu Mohamed | December 4th 2019
American lady Golf Professional star Cheyenne Woods makes a swing [Courtesy]

Action galore is expected when the Magical Kenya Ladies Open (MKLO) Golf Championship, the Ladies European Tour (LET), starts at par 72 Vipingo Baobab Ridge Golf Course in Kilifi today.

The contest starts with Pro-Am before professionals get into four days of action tomorrow for the 72-hole stroke play tournament at the only PGA rated course in the continent.

The 108 Lady Professionals from 28 Countries of the world will battle for a share ofSh33 million (300,000 euros) plus a winner’s prize purse purse of Sh5 million in the competition that is being held for the first time in East Africa.

Magical Kenya is the title sponsor while Safaricom’s Mpesa is the presenting partner with other sponsors that include Aquamist, East African Breweries (Johnnie Walker), Turkish Airlines, Vipingo Development, KPA and Wilken.

Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Michael Joseph said they are honoured to be title sponsors.

“At Safaricom, we have always been keen at promoting the growth of sports talent in the country,”said Joseph.

Chairman of Vipingo Ridge Alastair Cavenagh said the course was in good condition. He said the professionals include the American star Cheyenne Woods, a niece to former world number one Tiger Woods.

“We are ready and excited to host the event. Vipingo Ridge are proud to promote ladies golf as well as tourism in Kenya,” said Cavenagh.

The 29-year-old Cheyenne leads Scottish Beth Allen, Norway’s Marianne Skarpnord, Germany’s Esther Henseleit, Great Britain’s Meghan Maclaren, Austrian Christine Wolf, India’s Aditi Ashok and Nuria Iturrios of Norway.

Others are England’s Meghan Maclaren, Germany’s Olivia Cowan and Scotland’s Laura Fuenfstueck and Carly Booth.

Kenya’s only lady professional Bhavi Shah of Nyali leads African golfers alongside Georgia Iziemgbe Oboh, Swaziland’s Nobuhle Dlamini, South Africans Stacy Lee Bregman and Lejan Lewthwaite, Morocco’s Maha Haddioui and Uganda’s Lakareber Ab.

There are four Kenyans in the Pro-Am showdown. They are Naomi Wafula of Golf Park, Sigona’s Agnes Nyakio, Vet Lab’s Mercy Nyanchama and Golf Parks’ Margaret Njoki. 

Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed said it was a privilege to host the Magical Kenya Ladies Open for the first time. She said it will inspire other women to take up the sport.

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