The battle for slots in the 2020 Magical Kenya Open, a European Tour sanctioned event, now shifts to the hilly Sigona Golf Club course this weekend for the ninth leg of the Safari Tour.
The event, which starts with the Pro-Am on Saturday where the pros will be joined by over 150 amateurs, had by Wednesday afternoon attracted a field of 35 pros though the number is likely to change when the entries close Thursday evening.
With a total of 10 players set to qualify to the prestigious Magical Kenya Open presented by Absa through the Safari Tour, Sigona offers the professionals an opportunity to score valuable points with two legs left to play.
Those who had listed their names to play include the Johnnie Walker-sponsored Dismas Indiza who is currently leading the standings with 330.6 points despite having missed the cut in the seventh leg at Thika Greens where Muthaiga’s Greg Snow emerged top.
Snow, who is preparing to travel to South Africa for the Sunshine Tour’s Cape Town Open and Dimension Data Pro-Am event, and Thika Sports Club’s Simon Ngige, Erick Ooko, David Wakhu, Riz Charania, Kopan Timbe and Justus Madoya, all of whom occupy the top eight in the Order of Merit, will be at Sigona.
Nigeria’s Andrew Odoh is likely to miss this weekend’s event as he has to travel to South Africa to pre-qualify for the Limpopo Championship on Monday. Snow was also listed to play in the Pre-Q for the same event as well as the Ram Cape Town Open qualifier on February 4.
Odoh and Uganda’s Philip Kasozi currently occupy the two slots reserved for regional players in 13th and 14th place respectively in the Safari Tour where both are members.
At Sigona, Snow, last year’s Safari Tour champion, will be the odds on favourite to win after his back-to-back victories at Thika Greens and at his home club Muthaiga.
He will face his usual challengers Indiza, Ngige, Madoya, Golf Park’s David Wakhu, Ooko of Royal who missed the cut at Muthaiga, and home pro John Wangai.
Besides Magical Kenya and the Absa Group, the Sigona event and the last leg at Karen next month, have attracted the support of Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) through its Johnnie Walker brand.
This week, KBL announced the sponsorship for a Hole-In-One prize at Sigona and the Karen event as well as sponsoring the Pro-Am prizes for both events.
While making the announcement, KBL’s Head of Marketing International Spirits and Reserve, Grace Nshemeire-Gwaku, expressed the company’s delight in being part of the Safari Tour.
“At KBL, we are always committed to contributing to the growth of sports in Kenya, Johnnie Walker has a rich history in supporting the sport of golf not only locally but internationally and we are excited to be involved in the Safari Tour Golf series,” she said.