American star Cheyenne Woods, a niece of golfing legend Tiger Woods, is among a field of 107 professional golfers listed to play in the Magical Kenya Ladies Open to be held at Vipingo Ridge’s Baobab course in Kilifi County from December 5 to 8.
The 29-year-old, who is in her fifth year in America’s LPGA (Ladies Professional Golfers Association) Tour, will be at Vipingo courtesy of U.Com the event organisers in collaboration with title sponsor Magical Kenya and presenting partner M-Pesa.
A spokesperson for Woods said: “She has been very interested to play in an event in Africa for some time now, and she jumped at the opportunity to travel to Kenya.”
Woods has been invited by U.COM to take part in this momentous tournament- the first of its kind in East Africa. She will play against top Ladies European Tour (LET) players such as Beth Allen, the only American winner of the Order of Merit, as well as Norway’s Marianne Skarpnord, currently number one in the rankings for 2019, and front runner Esther Henseleit from Germany.
Other notable players coming to Kenya to compete in this 72 hole stroke play event include Meghan Maclaren from Britain, Christine Wolf ranked number two in the 2019 Order of Merit, Indian star Aditi Ashok and two times LET winner Nuria Iturrios of Spain.
In a statement from Vipingo Ridge, chairman Alastair Cavenagh said: “We look forward to welcoming Woods and all participating players to Kenya and believe their involvement in this tournament will help us fulfill our objective to promote gender equality and tourism through golf. We hope they will enjoy the beauty and challenge of our coastal PGA-accredited course and return home with fond memories of this unique golfing destination.”
Meanwhile, on the local scene, the annual Prime Bank Diwali Golf Tournament is on this weekend at Sigona Golf. This is the 16th edition being held back-to-back at Sigona where at least 220 players have registered to participate.
They include the club’s single handicapped players as well as guests and staff of Prime Bank who are drawn from various clubs in the country.
Sigona captain Muraya Kariuki said the golf course was in good shape. He welcomed members and guests for the this weekend’s golf extravaganza.
Prime Bank continues to support golf activities through their flagship product, Prime Visa Golf Card.
“As a bank, golf is one of the avenues where we interact with our clientele. We are proud to be associated with the Kenya Golf Union (KGU) and Junior Golf Foundation (JGF) where we donate proceeds of this product for golf development,” said Jessee Mungai, Prime Bank Business Development Manager.
He added that since the launch of the product about four years ago, the bank has donated close to Sh3.5 Million to Junior Golf Foundation for golf development.
On the other hand Karen Country hosts the Lady Captain’s (Nellie Ayodo) Prize today and the main captain’s (Mike Kingori) Prize on Saturday and Sunday being partnered by among others, Johnnie Walker. More than 200 players were drawn for the weekend event.
For Johnnie Walker, this weekend’s tournament is part of its series whose first leg was held at Royal Nairobi Golf Club where Jastaj Sagoo carded 43 points to claim overall men’s prize. From Karen, the series will head to Windsor at the end of the month, with other events to follow at Thika Sports, Muthaiga in January 2020, Sigona, Limuru, and Nakuru with the grand finale set for March.
At the same time, the Crown Silicone Stableford Challenge golf series heads to the North Rift Town of Kitale where more than 100 players were drawn.
Back in Nairobi, CIC Insurance group will be at the nine-hole Kenya Railway Golf Club course with 100 players drawn to battle it out for prizes. It is also a big day at Thika Sports Club where the par 72 will be hosting the Captain’s Prize with a huge field of 200 players all set to battle it out.
This weekend’s tournament is being sponsored by Isuzu East Africa, TMD Kenya and East Africa Breweries. Another big field will be at Limuru Country Club which was the venue last weekend of the Nation Classic Golf series Grand finale. This weekend, the tough playing course will be the venue of the Lady Captain’s (Mukami Wangai) Prize where over 200 players were drawn.