The Kenya Open Golf Limited (KOGL) has tripled the total prize money, from KShs 1 million to KShs 3 million, for the last leg of the 2019/2020 Safari Golf Tour Series which will be played at the Karen Country Club from the 22nd to the 26th of February this year.
The increase in prize money will mean that the professional golfer winner of the event will bank KShs 450,000; up from the KShs 150,000 which is currently up for grabs.
Commenting on the prize fund boost, KOGL Tournament Director, Patrick Obath, said the move will give players greater motivation to compete for the final qualification slots for the forthcoming Magical Kenya Open presented by Absa Golf Championship which will be played next month.
“We expect the level of competition to go up a notch higher with the prize fund increase and look forward to a grand finish to the tournament at the Karen.
Our desire is to see many low scores at this event as we near this year’s Magical Kenya Open presented by Absa Golf Championship,” he said.
He added:“The Safari Tour has, this season, witnessed enhanced competition and performance; pointing to a gradual growth and development in the players’ game and giving all of us great encouragement for our local players’ prospects at this year’s Kenya Open. Our hope is that the players will use the opportunity at Karen to prepare for the Kenya Open which will be played at the same venue and following the same format.”
Commenting on the same, the Professional Golfers of Kenya Captain, C.J. Wangai, said:
“Being the final tournament for this season’s Tour, the increase in prize money is a welcome move. Most professional golfers in Kenya have been looking forward to this as the prize fund is what boosts the morale of the players.
I expect that we will see a bigger number of professional players from other countries coming down this Saturday because of the prize money.”
The increase in prize money will also see an increase points with the winner of the tournament getting 75 points up from the current 50. This means that for the players who are in marginal positions not only stand a chance of making good money from the outing, but also stand a substantial boost of qualifying for the Magical Kenya Open.
This season’s Tour has seen the tournament expand into Uganda; adding to it four events to bring to 11 the total number of tourneys during this calendar.
So far, there have been seven different winners with Muthaiga’s Greg Snow, who is sponsored by Johnnie Walker, having bagged four trophies while Mumias-based Dismas Indiza (also sponsored by Johnnie-Walker) having claimed two trophies.
Anthony Juma (popularly known as Tony Omuli), Jastas Madoya, Madalitso Muthiya and Andrew Odoh complete the list of this season’s winners with one leg to play.
The list of the top eight Kenyan golfers who will have qualified to play at this year’s Magical Kenya Open presented by Absa Golf Championship through the 2019/2020 Safari Golf Tour Series will be announced at the end of the tournament.
Currently, Dismas Indiza, who tops the Road to Kenya Open ranking with 395.1 points, Thika Golf Club’s Simon Ngige (381.9 points), Greg Snow (376.5 points) and Royal Nairobi’s Erick Ooko (317.3 points) are the only Kenyans to secure slots to play at next month’s Kenya Open with the other four slots yet to be confirmed.
Two regional players, who have been playing at this season’s Safari Golf Tour, will qualify to play at the Kenya Open. Currently, Robson Chinhoi from Zimbabwe and Andrew Odoh from Nigeria occupy those slots.