Kenya will for the first time host a Ladies European Tour Golf tournament in December this year.
Courtesy of Vipingo Ridge Golf Resort and event organisers U.COM Event, the inaugural tournament is set for December 5 to 8 after the Pro-Am tournament on December 4.
The tournament, which is expected to bring a field of 96 players, will be sponsored by Magical Kenya and presented by Safaricom through its Mpesa brand.
It will be staged at the Baobab Course, a certified European Tour course at Vipingo Ridge Golf Resort in Kilifi County.
Earlier this year, 12 players from the Ladies European Tour (LET), made a special appearance in Kenya and played two Pro-Ams at Vipingo Ridge.
This event, therefore not only marks the very first time professional lady golfers will have played competitively in the region, but it will also be the final event of the 2019 season.
The 72-hole stroke play competition will prove a significant milestone in the history of the sport in Kenya and work to motivate the next generation of female players throughout the country.
Kenya has so far hosted the European Challenge, main European Tour and the European Seniors Tour.
The tournament will be preceded by a Pro-Am on December 4, and the event organisers will be contacting the top amateur Kenyan golfers to take their place alongside the professionals.
Welcoming the European lady professionals to Kenya, Cabinet Secretary in charge of Sports, Culture and The Arts, Amina Mohamed said: “We are pleased to host the Magical Kenya Ladies Open for the first time. It is our hope and expectation that your participation will inspire other women to take up the sport and awaken their potential to play professionally.
We warmly welcome all the players to Kenya and wish everyone a rewarding experience in our magical country.”
Broadcasted live across the globe to millions of viewers, the event will showcase Kenya as a unique golfing and holiday destination as well as elevate the country as an important player on the world’s stage, not just in terms of golf but sports in general.
Dirk Glittenberg, Managing Director of U.COM Event, explains: “Our long-term vision of bringing women’s professional golf to Kenya is finally becoming a reality.
We are always striving to find new destinations for the Ladies European Tour and the Kenyan Coast will be a very memorable one for all players, their guests and TV spectators worldwide.”
Vipingo Ridge Resort Chairman, Alastair Cavenagh added: “Following on the heels of an exciting Solheim Cup in Scotland, Vipingo Ridge is extremely proud to be playing its part in promoting ladies’ golf as well as tourism in Kenya. We are especially pleased to be bringing the event to the Coast region.”
Talking of the partnership, Michael Joseph, Safaricom CEO, said: “We are honoured to be a key sponsor of the first ever Ladies European Tour event in Kenya and the region. At Safaricom, we have always been keen at promoting the growth of sports and sporting talent in the country.”
The Ladies European Tour (LET), which is based at the Buckinghamshire Golf Club near London, celebrates women’s golf on a global stage.
Since its formation in 1978, the Ladies Tour has crowned more than 250 different winners and 700 championship trophies have been lifted as players from nearly 30 different countries have won on the Tour.
The LET operates tournaments across the continents and The Solheim Cup, which has been played 16 times biannually since 1990, has become one of the biggest female sporting events in the world.