The 2018 KCB Karen Masters has been given a clean bill of health by Sunshine Tour officials who visited the country on a rigorous inspection tour.
The Sunshine Tour delegation, who arrived on Tuesday, inspected the course and facilities for the tournament slated for July 19-22 and expressed optimism on the preparations so far.
“We are overly excited that preparations are in high gear ahead of this year’s KCB Karen Masters. We are here to finalise on the logistics for July and have confirmed the course as superbly maintained to host a world class tournament,” Sunshine Tour tournament director Garry Todd said.
Todd was accompanied by his operations team that included Dornay Lombard, Willie Scheepers and Darren Brown in his inspection tour of the 18-hole Karen Country Club Golf course and facilities.
They focused on operational details, ranging from the working plans and technical specifications. “The greens are in good condition and the fairways in emerald state and this has impressed us immensely,” Todd added.
KCB Karen Masters tournament director, Andy Watt, said he is working closely with the golf superintendent to present a prodigious golf course ahead of the event.
“We are working very hard to give golfers a great experience of playing at our event. Our goal to improve the stint metre to 12.5 during this year’s KCB Karen Masters tournament,” said Andy.
The KCB Karen Masters qualification criteria for amateurs will see hundreds of golfer’s battle out for a ticket to play with the top golfers through a series dubbed “KCB Road to the Masters’.
The first six qualifies of the KCB Karen Masters Pro-am were ascertained following a record field of 272, who graced the opening round of the five-leg ‘Road to Masters Series’ at Ruiru Sports Club over the weekend.
Ruiru captain Peter Mwaura while naming the six said his club members will savour the opportunity of brushing shoulders with visiting foreign and local pros as the country embraces its maiden Sunshine Tour status during the Masters. The Pro-am will be played on July 17 as a curtain raiser to the second edition of the KCB Karen Masters set for July 19-22 at Karen.
KCB Karen Masters has by and large become Kenya’s premier golfing tournament after the Kenya Open which currently runs as a round of the European Challenge Tour.
“Its such a great feeling to play alongside visiting pros during the KCB Karen Masters. It gives us the urge to practice harder well in time for our big day, and we can’t wait to be in Karen,” said Christopher Kiai, who emerged the overall winner. Kiai, playing off handicap 16, shot 19 in the first nine and 21 in the back nine for a total of 40 stable ford points.
Joining Kiai for KCB Karen Masters Pro-am from Ruiru will be men’s winner Michael Chege, who lost to the former on count back, lady winner Veronica Mwaura, guest winner George Felix, sponsors’ winner Bernard Kotonya and nearest to the pin men’s winner Ben Njuguna.
“I hardly imagined I would make it to the list of six when we teed off. I wish to thank KCB Bank Group for giving us this rare once in a life-time opportunity to further our golfing career. We will give it our all and represent the Ruiru Sports Club well,” Kiai said in an interview.