At least 36 out of the 150 professionals will be in action Wednesday — teeing off from 8am and 12.10 — for the KCB Karen Masters Pro-Am, a curtain-raiser for the Sunshine Tour sanctioned KCB Karen Masters tournament.
The 36 pros, who will each be paired with three local amateurs, are those who were invited by the event organisers.
The pro-Am is meant to give amateur golfers, particularly Karen members, corporate sponsors and those who qualified from the “KCB Road to Karen Masters’’ amateur golf series held in five clubs in the country, an opportunity to warm-up.
It is also an opportunity for those pros who may not have had the chance of playing a practice round on Monday and Tuesday to test the course which was yesterday described by the local pros to be in its best condition ever.
However, only four local pros will be in action in the Pro-Am which is sponsored by title sponsors KCB.
Course in excellent condition
These are Simon Ngige from Thika Sports Club, Dismas Indiza of Mumias, Professional Golfers of Kenya (PGK) captain John Wangai and Muthaiga’s Greg Snow.
“I have never seen this course in an excellent condition like it is this time round though the fairways have been narrowed and one has to real plan a good take off from the tee. I intend to use my driver probably in two holes during the Masters,’’ said Ngige, one of the two local pros who made cut during this year's Magical Kenya Open, a European Tour event also held at Karen.
Leading the visiting players, drawn mostly from South Africa, will be defending champion Michael Palmer who is drawn at 1.10pm on the tenth tee with amateurs Anthony Murage of Karen who is also the Kenya Golf Union (KGU) chairman, James Githinji and a Safaricom representative.
Five official victories
Also in action will be Merrick Bremner from South Africa and a regular Sunshine Tour player who has also played in the European Tour where his best finish was tying third in the 2014 D+D Real Czech Masters.
Sponsored by Betway, Bremner has five official victories in the Sunshine Tour. He featured in this year’s US Open at Pebble Beach Links in California from June 13 where he, however, missed the cut after two bad rounds.
He is drawn with lady golfer Purity Muthoni, Tom Karanja and Vet Lab captain Fernando Wangila.
Of the locals, Indiza will be in the flight of Kenya Open Golf Limited chairman Peter Kanyago, KCB’s Paul Russo and Ben Gaithuma, while Wangai is drawn along with former lady captain at Nyali Joyce Masai who won the coast leg of the KCB Road to Karen Masters, first round winner Sabo Kalsi and Gathuri Wanjau at 8am.