Bhavi to lead Kenyan golfers at 2022 Magical Kenya Ladies Open

Bhavi Shah makes a swing during the 2019 Magical Kenya Ladies Open at Vipingo Course [Maarufu Mohamed, Standard]

Nyali Golf and Country Club’s lady professional golfer Bhavi Shah will be steering the Kenyan team at the 2022 Magical Kenya Ladies Open Golf tournament that tees off from February 10 to 13 at the 18 hole PGA Baobab Course, Vipingo Baobab Ridge Course in Kilifi County.

Bhavi, who will be returning to the tournament having taken part in the event’s debut season in 2019, will be flying the Kenyan flag alongside four amateurs Naomi Wafula, Mercy Nyanchama, Chanelle Wangari and Faith Chemutai.

Naomi and Mercy will feature at the tournament, with Chanelle and Faith being debutants this year.

Naomi finished the event as the highest ranked Kenyan in 2019, having carded a total of 13 over par 157 after 36 holes to finish tied in 87th.

Bhavi ended her maiden Ladies European Tour (LET) campaign tied in 98th and will be looking for a more robust finish this year.

“I am very excited that the Magical Kenya Ladies Open is back after a two-year break and would like to thank all the sponsors and the hosts, Vipingo Ridge, for making the event possible and extending a special invite,” said Bhavi.

“I started preparing for this event late last year in a structured gym routine, some range work, and sharpening the short game. It will be a very competitive event, and being the first event of the year will set a tone for the tour. I am looking forward to our beautiful country being showcased and the local talent getting a chance to put our game to the test too.”

Bhavi, who for the second time will be the only Kenyan lady professional golfer at the event, will be hoping to floor a host of other participants drawn from different countries including Germany, Spain, India, France, Finland, England and South Africa among others.

Naomi, a former Kenya National Ladies Golf champion is savoring the challenge ahead.

“I am currently down at Vipingo practicing for the event, and I am ready and looking forward to it. I thank Vipingo Ridge, Kenya Ladies Golf Union, the government, Magical Kenya, and all the sponsors for making this happen and for all the support,” she said.

Fifteen years old Chanelle will be looking to carry her recent top form into the event, having been crowned the 2021 Ladies Amateur Match Play Champion in September last year.

The win came on the backdrop of yet another triumph in February that year when she was crowned the Kabete Ladies Open.

Naomi, Chanelle, Faith and Mercy have all been receiving support from Vipingo Ridge’s PGA Academy with custom club fittings as well as coaching of swing mechanics using the Academy’s high-tech launch monitor as part of a program with the Kenya Ladies Golf Union to support Kenya’s homegrown talent.

A field of 96 players will take to the course for a chance to be crowned the LET 2022 season opener winner at the Magical Kenya Ladies Open.

Golf fans and enthusiasts will follow their favorite golfers at the course, following consultations with both the Kenyan government and the LET, under which the tournament is organised.

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