April 14, 2024

Chase for Kenya Open slots enters final stretch as prize money is increased

Chase for Kenya Open slots enters final stretch as prize money is increased
Njoroge Kibugu at the 2022 tournament

This year, 156 golfers will be battle for a prize fund of $2.5 million(Ksh 405,000,000).

There are eight slots for Kenyan professional golfers to grab ahead of the 2024 Magical Kenya Open slated for February 22 to 25 at Muthaiga golf club.

The final leg of the qualifying tournament, the Safari Tour, heads to Karen Country Club from 3 to 7 February with the pros picking final points towards qualification to the European Tour event whose prize money has been increased.

Last year’s Open offered a total prize purse of Ksh 250,000,000 where the winner Spain’s Jorge Campillo took home $340,000.

This year, 156 golfers will be battle for a prize fund of $2.5 million(Ksh 405,000,000).

Leading up to the final leg at Karen, the Safari Tour golf series has witnessed exceptional performances across various clubs in Kenya and Uganda.

The Karen event follows the fifth leg of the 2023/24 Safari Tour Series that ended on Wednesday at Muthaiga Golf Club where Great Rift Valley Golf Resort’s Jastas Madoya fired seven-under par 277 gross to win the tournament at the Par 71 championship course.

Madoya, who is among the few Kenyan pros to make cut since the Open attained European Tour status in 2019, eclipsed home player Mutahi Kibugu by a solitary shot to lay his hand on the coveted Muthaiga leg title.

The result saw him move up the log from 11th to sixth in the “Road to Kenya Open” series—where the top eight local pros and two from the region will qualify for the DP World Tour event.

“The government is pleased to be the main sponsor of the Magical Kenya Ladies Open at Vipingo, and the DP World Tour’s Magical Kenya Open to be held at Muthaiga because they give the country high value, and we want to use the events to welcome the world to Kenya," said Sports CS Ababu Namwamba during the two event's launch where the prize purse increase was announced.

The CS called on corporates to continue supporting sports, saying the government was working on an incentive for those that are involved in any.

“I want to assure the golfing fraternity that the government values golf, and would like to encourage our corporates to continue supporting sports because the government alone cannot support the development of sports," said Namwamba.