As the Kenya Open Golf Championship will be celebrating its 50th anniversary during this year’s edition to be held at the par 71 Muthaiga Golf Club, a star-studded filed comprising three recent winners have confirmed participation.
The 2009 winner, Gary Boyd, 2010 winner Robert Dinwiddle and 2016 champion, Sebastian Soderberg, lead the contingent of foreign players already registered for the 72-hole competition to run between March 22 and 25.
The three will lead a high-caliber list of entries by foreign players who have expressed interest to take part in this year’s tournament, and whose participation at the tourney is now awaiting ratification by the European Challenge Tour.
Englishman Boyd won the 2009 Championship with a total gross score of 13-under par 271, which was a personal improvement from the previous year’s tournament where he had finished fifth with a round score of six-under par 278. Boyd also featured at the Kenya Open Championship in 2014, 2015 and last year where he finished 63rd.
Fellow Englishman, Dinwiddie, who won the 2010 edition of the Open with a 12-under 272 gross score; had also participated in the 2007 edition of the Open (where he finished 82nd), 2002 (where he finished 22nd) and last year at the Muthaiga Golf Club where he finished 41st with a total gross score of four-under par 280.
Sweden’s Sebastian Soderberg won the 2016 Championship with a gross score of 18-under par 270 to set the tournament’s second-best score in the Championship’s history. He has featured at the tournament on two other occasions; in 2015, where he finished 104, and last year where he finished 154th.
Notable names in the roster of entries by foreign players expected to take part at this year’s tournament include two-time Challenge Tour winner, Richard McEvoy (who won the 2017 Scottish Hydro Challenge tournament and the 2005 Panasonic Panama Open tourney) and three-time Challenge Tour and one-time European Tour champion, Roope Kakko (who has won the Madeira Islands Open tournament (twice); the National Bank of Oman Golf Classic tournament and the Volvo Finnish Open).
Meanwhile, the Government, through National Sports Fund yesterday announced a Sh50 million sponsorship towards the 50th edition of the Kenya Open Tournament. This is in line with a directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta at the conclusion of the 2017 Barclays Kenya Open, to raise the standard of the Championship.