Kenyans hoping for good show as European Tour event starts

 

Kenyan Professional Golfers Dismas Indiza (left), Greg Snow (centre) and Samwel Njoroge at the iconic Nairobi Expressway. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

This year’s Magical Kenya Open golf championships tees off at the par 71 Muthaiga Golf Club in Nairobi this morning.

16 Kenyan golfers will be among the 150 players from a cross the world who will be teeing for glory in the lucrative European Tour event whose total prize money is Sh227 million.

Muthaiga amateur Taimur Malik will be the first local charge off the tee-box at 7:20am. The junior sensation will be up against Bai Bobby of China and Ronald Rugumayo of Uganda.

Malik dramatically won the opening leg of the 2021/2022 Safari Tour golf series in Sigona last year by beating home pro Mohit Mediratta in a nervy play-off.

The 17-year-old will be followed by David Wakhu of Golf Park whose tee off time is scheduled ten minutes later.

Wakhu will battle Gavin Moynihan of Ireland and Chase Hanna of USA in his group.

Wakhu carries with him a fierce fighting spirit which enabled him to make the cut in the inaugural Kenya Savannah Classic held at Karen last year.

Ndumberi Golf Club amateur Michael Karanga will also tee off at the same time alongside Joel Sjoholm of Sweden and Daan Huizing of Netherlands.

Karanga is hopeful to replicate his good run in the Kenya Amateur Golf Championships circuit last season.

Great Rift Valley Lodge and Golf Resort player Jastas Madoya heads to the tournament buoyed with victory in the  Uganda Open which saw him finish fifth overall in the Safari Tour series this season.

“I plan to capitalise on my experience in the Kenya Open, having played this event for a couple of years now.

“Last season I failed to make the cut because of health issues but now I’m full of stamina,” Madoya said.

Elsewhere, Mumias pro Dismas Indiza hopes to redeem himself after a disastrous outing last year.

To show that he means business, Indiza topped the Safari Tour series, a feat that earned him a berth into the Open in style.

Meanwhile, Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL), through its premium spirits brand Johnnie Walker, has announced a sponsorship of Sh69.5 million towards the Kenya Open.

As part of the sponsorship, Johnnie Walker will provide spectators and golfers a memorable experience at the event’s tournament village.

Speaking during the announcement at the Nairobi Expressway, KBL Managing Director John Musunga said:

“As KBL, we are delighted to yet again renew our enduring partnership with the Magical Kenya Open.

“This is a great tournament that continues to play an important role in the growth and development of golf in the country. It has over the years been key to raising the profile of Kenya as a regional sporting golfing powerhouse.”

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