KAREN TO HOST KENYA OPEN GOLF BETWEEN MARCH 17-20 AS BARCLAYS EXTEND TOURNAMENT SPONSORSHIP

Kenya Golf Guide

LEFT TO RIGHT: Barclays Bank Kenya MD Jeremy Awori, Kenya Open Golf LTD Chairman Peter Kanyago and Barclays Bank Kenya Retail Bussines Banking Director Zahid Mustafa practice in the putting green during the Open launch yesterday.

By DANIELLA APIYO

Barclays Bank has extended their sponsorship for the Kenya Open Golf Tournament to another three years as the 49th edition of the annual event is set for next month at Karen Country Club. The financial giant will inject a total of Sh90 million to Kenya Open Golf Limited in disbursements of Sh30 million beginning this year till 2018.

This year’s event will be held between 17th and 20th of March and will be preceded by the Barclays ProAm on the 16th. In addition to the Kenya Open, the bank will hold six tournaments dubbed the Barclays Centennial Golf Festival as part of the bank’s celebration of 100 years’ existence in Kenya.

The centennial golf festival will include a junior golf tournament in Muthaiga, two corporate golf tournaments, a ladies invitational which will be held in partnership with the Kenya Ladies Golf Union, a professional’s tournament and the inter club ProAm qualifier. The centennial festival will stretch between March and May this year.

Prize money for the 2016 edition of Kenya Open Golf is set at Sh25 million with a total of 156 golfers fighting for glory. European Challenge Tour will register 100 professional golfers to the event while 50 professionals will be assembled from Africa and other continents. The six slot remaining slots are reserved for amateurs.

Only 22 local professionals will take part in this year’s edition. In addition, four local amateurs will be given the nod to tread the lush greens of Karen Country Club with some of the best upcoming professionals in Europe. The leading amateur from France will take up one slot while the other will be filled by a player from neighbouring Uganda.

Kenyan professionals are bidding to win the championship for the first time, having fell short in 48 previous attempts. The closest a local came to winning Kenya’s premier golf gong was in 1998 when Golf Park’s Jacob Okelo lost in the play-off having finished the regular rounds joint first.

This year’s event will be held in Karen for the third time on the trot and Jimmy Kimondo, chairman of Karen Country Club says the course is in perfect condition for play. “We have tended the course well and it is ready to host any tournament even today. We have also increased boarding facilities within the club and golfers should not worry about accommodation.” he said

“As we commemorate 100 years of business in Kenya, we want to use this signature sponsorship to tell our story as proof of our contribution in Kenya’s socio-economic development. Kenya has a great golfing potential which continues to be showcased by the level of talent presented year on year. We want to play our part in helping position Kenya as Africa’s leading golf destination.” Barclays Bank of Kenya Managing Director remarked. cheap air max 97 cheap air max 97

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