Defending champion Gagli Lorenzo is among the stars expected at this year’s Magical Kenya Open golf tournament set to tee off on March 17.
The four-day golfing extravaganza will see elite golfers led by Europe’s Ryder Cup winning skipper, Thomas Bjorn, and South Africa’s Haydn Porteous descend on the Par 72 course.
Among the players, a large field of 156 golfers is expected to battle it out at the Karen Golf Club ahead of the much-awaited European Tour.
Kenya will be represented by a team of six amateurs selected from the 2018 Kenya Amateur Golf Championship and 12 professionals, nine of whom were picked out from the just-concluded inaugural Safari Tour series.
The rest of the five targeted golfers will be picked out from various countries across the continent to help in boosting Kenya’s tourism sector. Speaking yesterday at the unveiling of Sh5.6 million sponsorship cheque by Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Kenya Open Golf chairman Peter Kanyago said that the few that had been listed out were expected to boost tourism in Kenya through their large following.
“With the number of followers the players have, there will be an increase in the number of people watching from all over the world making the country a tourist attraction,” said Kanyago.
He highlighted that at the Karen Golf Club, changes will be made to allow spectators to access the course easily.
Also, the traditional hole 10 will be the starting point to boost the accessibility of spectators in the course.
He further applauded Coca-Cola for partnering with them as they host a world-class tournament. Coca-Cola franchise manager Rodney Nzioka said the partnership with Kenya Open will boost the profile of the tournament while building on years of successful partnership.
“Following the elevation of Kenya Open to the elite European Tour from the Challenge Tour, the championship has evolved to international recognition, therefore, we want to market the ability of the country to host bigger international sports events,” he said.