The hunt for cash and some points towards next year's Magical Kenya Open, is on this weekend at Nyali Golf and Country Club Mombasa as the par 71 course hosts the first leg of the 2019/20 Safari Tour.
This year, the events were increased from five to 12 with some events to be held in Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania where the players will be scoring some points apart from earning money for the top performers.
According to Kenya Open Golf Limited (KOGL) tournament director Patrick Obath, all the events will count towards the ranking of the Safari Tour, and this will assist KOGL to allocate eight places to Kenyan nationals as well as the other spots to players from Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda.
He says there will be two spots allocated to the top East Africans after removing all the Kenyans. Just like last year, each of the 12 events will be preceded by a Pro-Am for the hosting club members, invited elite amateurs both men and ladies as well as invited juniors both boys and girls.
Save for Uganda Open and Rwanda Open whose events will be offering $50,000 and $30,000 (about Sh5 million and Sh3 million) respectively, at stake for the rest of the events including the Nyali leg will be Sh1 million. The pros are also expected to conduct golf clinics for school children and juniors in the neighbourhood among other community outreach programs.
The pros were still registering for the first leg at Nyali whose first round is set for Sunday after Saturday’s Pro-Am event. Among the players who had listed their names to play at Nyali by Thursday morning, include Golf Park’s David Wakhu who last year set the pace by winning the first leg of the series at the same venue.
Wakhu says he has been preparing over the last two weeks. “I am on the right track though it's my fitness which I want to see how it works during the Nyali event,’’ said Wakhu who was planning to travel to Mombasa on Thursday night in readiness for Friday’s official practice round.
Also heading to Nyali is Windsor Golf Hotel and Country Club’s Riz Charania while already in Mombasa was Thika Sports Club’s Simon Ngige who says he has been preparing well for the tour. “My game is good at the moment and I look forward to play at Nyali,’’ said Ngige who was preparing to tee off at 1.30pm Thursday for his first practising round.
He goes to Nyali fresh from his course record round of 11 under par 61 at Thika Greens Golf Resort last weekend during the Ladies Open subsidiary round where he made nine birdies and an eagle in his bogey-free round. He will definitely be one of the players to watch this weekend at Nyali.
As usual, there will be a cut after Monday’s second round where the top 20 and ties will proceed for the third and fourth rounds on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.
Elsewhere, Nakuru Golf Club which was the venue last weekend of the All Captains Prize, will this weekend host the George Adamson Memorial Charity tournament where over 100 players were drawn. Two August monthly Mugs will be staged at Ruiru and Vet Lab Sports Club.
At Muthaiga, action starts with the Modera Bowl, a mixed Foursomes event on Friday while on Saturday, it will be the turn of the Eid Ul Adha event being sponsored by Muthaiga Golf Club Muslim members.
Away at Eldoret Golf Club, which is preparing for the fourth leg of the 2019 Nation Classic golf series on September 7, will be the Doctors Golf day this weekend.