The Star (Kenya)

Kenya Open put off as lo­cal pros eye Sa­fari Tour

- BY SAM­SON ATEKA/ Sports · Golf · Kenya · Championship · PGA European Tour · Mumias

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 to 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.”

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