Helping hand for local golfers in tournament
Kibo Sports Limited, official distributor of Titleist products, has provided free Titleist golf balls for regional golfers at Magical Kenya Open. All 15 professional golfers who qualified through the Safari Tour Series, including 14 Kenyans and one Ugandan, will have received a dozen Titleist golf balls (worth Sh12,000 each) and a Titleist cap to wear during the tournament. Kibo Sports Managing Director Sunny Thethy said the aim is to help local players in their quest for success.
2019 tournament is the second driest
Tournament director Patrick Obath reckons that 2019 Magical Kenya Open has been the second driest after the 2011 edition at Muthaiga Golf Club. This week, temperatures are expected to rise to a high of 30 degrees celcius, with a low of 14 degrees. “In 2011, the dam at Muthaiga was almost dry. We had the hottest and driest tournament,” said Obath. But veteran golf writer Larry Ngala notes that the 1996 Kenya Open was the driest, forcing four players from Europe to withdraw owing to the hot conditions.
“The conditions this time are manageable and most of these players have been to extreme weather conditions events hence can manage themselves,” said Obath. “Most of the are from Qatar Open where the weather is hotter than Nairobi.”
Shock as players bring their own caddies
Five Kenyan caddies were shell-shocked when touring professionals they were meant to work for turned up with their own caddies.
“We were shocked when we learnt that five players had caddies from South Africa,” John Njunge, who is in charge of caddies, said. “They had requested for the caddies before arrival.” Njunge said it’s he knew of the five South African caddies during allocation of the caddies.
“We didn’t know they were around. We just found them at the range with the players. The players were then forced to pay the affected local caddies Sh10,000 in compensation.