Total prize money for the fifth leg of the on-going Safari Tour golf series scheduled for this weekend at the par 71 Muthaiga Golf Club course, has been increased to Sh3 million.
This follows a sponsorship boost of Sh1 million each from Barclays Bank of Kenya and Johnnie Walker, hence the top prize for the pro winner will now be Sh450,000 up from Sh150,000 in the first four legs.
Speaking while making the announcement, Kenya Open Golf Limited Chairman, Peter Kanyago, lauded both Barclays and Johnnie Walker for their support towards the sport in the country and specifically the Safari Tour which is aimed and helping local professionals prepare for international events such as the Kenya Open.
“We at the Kenya Open Golf Limited are delighted to receive this sponsorship and are grateful to both Barclays and Johnnie Walker for their continued support. With this significant increase in prize money we expect our professional golfers to up their game,” said Kanyago.
Commenting on the sponsorship, Barclays Bank of Kenya Managing Director, Jeremy Awori, said that the Bank’s partnership with KOGL in the Safari Tour is yet another opportunity to continue driving the development of golf in the country, even as we approach the 2019 Kenya Open tournament.
“Over the past nine years, we have walked hand-in-hand with KOGL in growing the profile of Kenya as a golfing destination and as we transit from Barclays to Absa, we have an even stronger resolve to be an active force for good in the societies where we operate in. We will therefore continue investing in such initiatives to enable Kenyans bring their possibilities to life,” Awori said.
“We remain committed to engaging and delighting our stakeholders at their various passion points through such events, an agenda that we intend to advance during and after our transition to Absa,” added Awori.
Kenya Breweries Limited Managing Director Jane Karuku reiterated the company’s commitment to supporting sports in the country, while noting the importance of the Safari Tour.
"I am confident that the money we have put into the Safari Tour will go a long way in helping our local professionals with the final preparations, ahead of the 2019 Kenya Open and I look forward to improved performances at the tournament,” said Karuku.
“We are delighted at the news of additional support from Barclays and Johhnie Walker towards the Safari Tour and believe that the increased in prize kitty will boost the morale of players as they take part in the round as well as enhance the competition among players,” said the Professional Golfers of Kenya Chairman, Charan Thethy.
The golf series, launched in August last year as a precursor to this year’s Kenya Open Golf Championship, has so far been played in Nyali, Vet Lab, Limuru, Thika Greens. This weekend’s event starts with the junior golf clinic be conducted by the pros, while the Pro-Am event, a curtain-raiser to the main tournament is set for Saturday.
The first round of the 72-event tournament will take place on Saturday with the final round for those who will have made the second round cut set for Wednesday. So far, Muthaiga Golf Club’s Greg Snow - who has won three of the first four legs - leads in the series whose last leg will take place at Karen Country Club from February 16-20.