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Magical Kenya Open Notebook - Day 3

Saturday March 16 2019

Virginia Karemi (left) with Aaron Rai on their way to victory at 2017 Kenya Open. PHOTO | NAION MEDIA GROUP

Virginia Karemi (left) with Aaron Rai on their way to victory at 2017 Kenya Open. PHOTO | NAION MEDIA GROUP 

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Second cut is applied in Kenya Open

The Kenya Open witnessed a first yesterday, with a second cut being applied upon the conclusion of the third round last evening. The organisers had to settle for a field of the top 72 and ties for the money purse following Friday’s cut, with 79 players within the cut. The cut on Friday was set at two-over par for the tournament.

This is the first time a second cut is applied at Kenya Open after the first two rounds to reduce the field to the top 72 players and ties. The tournament has a prize fund of Sh240 million with the winner pocketing Sh20.4 million.

“In the event that the cut after two rounds qualifies more than 78 players for the third and fourth rounds, then there will be an additional cut after three rounds to the leading 72 professionals and those who tie for 72nd place. This third-round cut will not be implemented where circumstances dictate that there is no re-draw between rounds 3 and 4,” said a statement from PGA Tour office.

The second cut is a European Tour regulation to reduce the field to a manageable number to accommodate the demands of live TV come Sunday.

Top caddies to tour South Africa Academy

Two top-placed local caddies at Magical Kenya Open will again be sponsored for a three-day tour of Absa Caddies Academy in May in South Africa.

Barclays Bank of Kenya marketing manager Peter Waweru the caddies will undergo some class work on first day of the tour, then compete in regional tournaments in the next two days. “They will be mentored and work with other professional caddies at the academy,” said Waweru.

“There are caddies who came along with their golfers but if their player wins, we shall select the next best caddy so long as he or she is Kenyan.

The last time Barclays Bank of Kenya sponsored two caddies for such experience in South Africa was in 2017. They are Virginian Karemi, who caddied the winner Aaron Rai from Britain and Stephen Lokala, who caddied second placed Frenchman Adrien Saddier.

Top caddie Karemi goes places after 2017 success

When Virginia Karemi caddied for Kenyan-born Aaron Rai from Britain to victory at 2017, she did not know what waited her. A reward of a three-day trip to Absa Academy in South Africa opened many doors for Karemi when Rai signed her for the main European Tour.

Karemi has toured the world with Rai, with the adventure taking her to Spain twice, to Qatar, Oman, Portugal and South Africa.

The 31-year-old Karemi, who took maternity leave last November, is eyeing a major return not only to caddying but to playing ladies golf.

“I thank Barclays Bank and Absa for opening a new golfing frontiers for me. I got to learn more about the game in my tour with Rai and it’s a job I now appreciate more,” said Karemi. “I will be back to caddying in July since my baby is now two months old.” Karemi said Qatar was perhaps her most exciting and challenging destination.