The pros will have a cut after the end of the second round.
Professional golfers have for the second year in a row, been included in the 2018 Diani Beach Masters golf tournament to be held at the par 72 Leisure Lodge Golf and Beach Resort in Diani, Kwale County from October 5 to 7.
This is one of the many “Road to Karen’’ events the pros are expected to play between now and March 2019. Like last year, the pros will play for a one million shillings purse, courtesy of Prime Bank, who on Wednesday handed over the sponsorship cheque of one million shillings to the Professional Golfers of Kenya (PGK) chairman Charan Thethy.
Speaking during the cheque hand-over ceremony at Prime Bank, Thethy thanked the bank for its continued support of the pros and the game of golf as a whole in the country, saying the sponsorship had come at the right time when the pros are preparing to qualify for next year’s Kenya Open.
“We are grateful to Prime Bank as well as Leisure Lodge for their generosity and commitment towards golf in Kenya both professional and amateur. This sponsorship will go a long way to support the local pros in their hunt for slots in the Kenya Open, whose 2019 edition will be part of the European Tour series," said Thethy, after receiving the cheque from Prime Bank’s Director of Business Development Vijay Kantaria.
He said so far 36 professionals and 80 amateurs had by Wednesday listed their names in the event, which will be 54-holes for pros and 36 holes for amateurs.
The pros will have a cut after the end of the second round, where the top 20 pros and ties will battle it out for the cash prizes.
Those listed so far also include two Tanzanians Jimmy Mollel and the long-hitting Nuru Mollel of Dar es Salaam and Arusha Gymkhana Clubs as well as Zimbabwe’s Mohammed Mandhu and Kayyam Mandhu.
The locals include the winner of the Safari Tour first leg held at Nyali David Wakhu and long hitting Dismas Indiza.
Meanwhile, 34 Kenyan professionals are among a field of 100 already listed for this year’s Uganda Open set for September 26 to 29 at the century old Ntebbe Golf Club course in Uganda.
This is the biggest entry from an individual country in the event, which has attracted entries from Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa, Botswana and hosts Uganda.
As usual, the open marking its 75th anniversary, starts with the ladies section this weekend to be followed by the men’s championship next weekend.
The Kenyan pros heading to Uganda include Muthaiga’s Greg Snow, who won the second leg of the Safari Tour at Vet Lab on six under par, Indiza and Sigona’s Sujan Shah, who finished second and third, Sigona’s John Wangai, David Wakhu and Erick Ooko among many others.
In next week’s amateur event, nine leading Kenyan amateurs have been listed to vie for the amateur trophy.
The nine are Sylvester Luhombo, Mike Kisia from Vet Lab, John Kariuki, John Karichu and Paul Muchangi of Limuru, Railway’s Samuel Njoroge and George Felix, Paul Muhia of Nakuru and Muthaiga’s Mutahi Kibugu.