KENYA OPEN SHELVED

Local pros want 2020/2021 Safari Tour to continue

“It’s a big blow but it’s only fair they put it off till next year"—Wakhu

In Summary

•KOGL and the European Tour announced the Magical Kenya Open earlier scheduled for November 12-15 at Karen Country Club, will now take place next year.

•The tournament will now be part of the 2021 European Tour, returning to a March date, which has been the tradition since the first Kenya Open in 1967.

David Wakhu in past training
David Wakhu in past training
Image: FILE

Local pro golfers are appealing for government support following the postponement of the Magical Kenya Open Championship to 2021.

Kenya Team members including Mumias-based Dismas Indiza, PGK captain C.J Wangai and Golf Park duo Eric Ooko and David Wakhu want the 2020/2021 Safari Tour Golf Series to0 continue, ostensibly to help them eake out a living from the sport.

The pros fear they may be left without any source of income hence the need for government support to cushion them during this Covid-19 pandemic period.  The Safari Tour has traditionally been used as a yardstick to ascertain local and regional pros for Kenya Open.

The Kenya Open Golf Limited and the European Tour yesterday announced that the Magical Kenya Open earlier scheduled for November 12-15 at Karen Country Club, will now take place next year. This is the second time event has been postponed with the original dates having been in March.

The tournament will now be part of the 2021 European Tour, returning to a March date, which has been the tradition since the first Kenya Open in 1967.

Wakhu, who also made the Kenya team through Safari Tour ranking said: “It’s a big blow but it’s only fair they put it off till next year. For local pros, it’s been tough because we haven’t had any big competition. We hope the Safari Tour competition will resume soon. At moment, we’re still practising hard to stay in in shape and focus in a bid to maintain our top level for lower scores for underpar.”

On his part Mudanyi said: “Basically we are all hopeful that KOGL will come up with a solution to start the 2020/21 Safari Tour series in readiness for the 2021 Kenya Open. All sports personalities have endured the tough times and it’s important for Ministry of Sports to get all sports persons back to their respective hustles, especially the golf pros. It hasn’t been easy.”

While announcing the postponement, KOGL chairman, Peter Kanyago noted: “We are continually grateful for the close relationship we enjoy with the European Tour. By sharing insights with us on the ever-changing landscape of the international golf tournaments, we were able to make an informed decision to once again postpone the Magical Kenya Open to a more suitable time next year.”

Ben Cowen, the European Tour Deputy Chief Operating Officer, on his part, said: “The European Tour enjoys a successful long-term relationship with KOGL and we are grateful for their continued support. We look forward to working closely with them in the coming months as we prepare to return to Karen Country Club next year.”