The Kenya Open Golf Limited is negotiating with the European Tour to have the 2020 Magical Open Golf Championship played this year.
Kenya Open Golf Limited (KOGL) wants the tournament included in the second half of the tour before the end of this year.
Should their wish be granted, it means Kenya will have salvaged at least two major international events for 2020. World Athletics has rescheduled the Nairobi leg of the Continental Tour from May 2 to September 2.
The third major global competition scheduled for Nairobi this year – the Safari Rally’s return to the World Rally Championship from July 16 to 19 – has now been pushed to a yet-to-be-confirmed date next year.
A revised European Tour golf calendar released on Thursday indicates that the Tour will resume on July 22 with a run of six tournaments over six weeks in the United Kingdom, starting with the British Masters.
WAITING FOR STATEMENT
KOGL tournament director Patrick Obath confirmed to Nation Sport they are in talks with the European Tour.
“We are negotiating a date in November though we are still waiting for a statement on the second half of the season where we expect the Magical Kenya Open will feature,’’ Obath said.
The Magical Kenya Open 2020, sponsored by Magical Kenya and presented by Absa Bank, was to take place from March 12 to 15, just a week after the Qatar Masters.
It was, however, postponed following an announcement by the government cancelling all social activities including sports due to the spreading coronavirus.
Eight local professionals, led by long hitter Dismas Indiza, and five amateurs had qualified for the Magical Kenya Open which was to take place at Karen Country Club.
The Kenyans were to be joined by two regional qualifiers Robson Chinhoi of Zimbabwe and Nigeria’s Andrew Oche Odoh.
“The 2020 calendar was wiped out since March due to the coronavirus pandemic but golf will return at Close House in northeast England.
“The season will run until December, with all tournaments played behind closed doors and subject to strict safety and testing protocols,” the statement from the Tour said.
The other events in the British swing are the English Open, the English Championship, back-to-back tournaments at Celtic Manor -- the Celtic Classic and the Wales Open -- and the UK Championship at the Belfry.
However, they are all subject to the lifting of the two-week quarantine by the government relating to those travelling from outside the country.
Four Rolex Series events have also been announced, with the Scottish Open and PGA Championship in back-to-back weeks in October, while the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa and the World Tour Championship in Dubai will take place in December.
European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley said: “Since the suspension of our 2020 season in early March, we have taken a measured approach in reassessing our schedule, informed every step of the way by our medical advisers and government guidance.
“We have consistently said that safety is our absolute priority and that is why today we are announcing our resumption in two months’ time supported by a comprehensive health strategy which has been led by our medical team.”
He added: “Based on the expert guidance we received, playing in clusters, in one territory, is the best option in terms of testing, travel and accommodation.”
AFRICA GOLF CONFEDERATION
The intention remains to crown a new Race to Dubai champion in December but the European Tour has decided that no player will lose his card this year, nor will there be any formal graduations from the Challenge Tour.
The calendar released includes US-based events such as the US Open from September 17 to 20, just a week before the Ryder Cup, while the Masters will be held from November 12 to 15.
Meanwhile, all international events usually held under the auspices of the Africa Golf Confederation remain suspended until the virus is controlled.