The Safari Golf Tour Series, a qualifier tournament for the Kenya Open Golf Championship, ended on Wednesday at the Karen Country Club with hope of a better performance by golfers from the region.
The conclusion of the 11-leg series saw eight players qualify for the Kenya Open golf tournament, which is now part of the European Tour.
Greg Snow from Muthaiga Golf Club won the 11th and final leg of the series. Mumias golfer Dismas Indiza claimed the overall title.
Other than being a qualifier tournament, the series, organised by the Kenya Open Golf Limited (KOGL), offers Kenyan professional golfers a chance to refine their skill, with the annual Kenya Open in mind.
For the first time, the golfers who will play in the Kenya Open have had the best preparation for the tournament scheduled for March 12 to 15 at the Karen Country Club.
Kenyans dominated the series, taking most of the slots. More importantly, the seven tournaments held in Kenya and the four hosted by Uganda saw players register some good scores.
Kenya’s Justus Madoya, who won the Entebbe Open in November with a four-round score of nine-under par stood out, as did Indiza, who won the Lake Victoria Open on eight-under par.
The increased prize money also made it competitive. Sh5 million was up for grabs in the Uganda Open and golfers battled for a share of Sh3 million in Karen. Each of the remaining nine legs had a prize purse of Sh1 million.
Plans to have prize money of between Sh3 million and Sh4 million in at least half of the tournaments, and to increase the events from 11 to 16, is good news.
An expanded series will be particularly good for local pros who have in the past complained of lack of adequate exposure.
When the Kenya Open is held, local pros should strive to replicate the top form they have displayed in the Safari Golf Tour series.