Sh393 million prize money at stake as Magical Kenya Open tournament begins in earnest

Thursday, February 22nd, 2024 01:03 | By
Kenyan pro Njoroge Kabugi lines his putt yesterday. PHOTO/ Alex Njue
Kenyan pro Njoroge Kubugi lines his putt yesterday. PHOTO/ Alex Njue

The 55th edition of Magical Kenya Open is here with 144 players lined up for action at the picturesque Par 71 Muthaiga Golf Club over the next four days under anticipated sunny weather conditions.

Tournament Director Patrick Obath assured that everything is in place for today’s tee off, saying: “As the organising committee, we have finalised all the processes and we look forward to a great week of golf action. We have top players around and we anticipate great competition this year. We thank the government and other sponsors for their support and we hope our locals will put up a good show,” he told People Sport on the sidelines of the Pro-Am event yesterday.

Kenya will be represented by 13 players made up of nine professionals and four amateurs. Justus Madoya of Great Rift Valley Country Club is keen to make amends after lacklustre performances in previous years.

“I have trained well and just looking forward to first of all making the cut on Friday then see how it goes. It will be tight because the course is challenging but all in all as a professional I will have to be ready. Collectively we hope to have as many Kenyans as possible, making lower scores on the board,” said Madoya who won the Safari Tour event at the same venue three weeks ago.

With an increment of prize money by 500,000 Euros this year to a total 2.5 million euros (Sh 392,635,387) at stake, all eyes will be at the nearly century old facility where the DP World Tour Championship will be showcased to over 500 million households globally. The overall winner will clinch 425,000 euros (Sh 66,749,561).

Big names like South African Justin Harding (2021 winner) and Chinese star Ashun Wu (2022 winner) are back to reclaim glory with the 2023 winner in Spaniard Jorge Campillo not part of the cast this year. Another big name on the list is the 2019 Kenya Open- Challenger Series winner in Italian Guido Migliozzi who is ranked 29th in the World.

Some other big names who have come to the tournament that is also expected to draw a alive audience of 16,000 spectators on the course are; Japanese 77th ranked player Fikaya Hoshino,27, who has one DP win to his name and also 23 year old South African native Dylan Frittelli who has three Tour wins to his credit. Another name to be checked on the list is Adrian Otaegui,31, of Spain with 4 tour wins to his name.

This tournament comes got on the heels of the maiden MKO 2024- Golf 4 Disabled that had two rounds in Muthaiga Golf Club with the eventual winner being Kipp Poppert of United Kingdom.

Meanwhile, the Magical Kenya Open (MKO) part of the DP world tour and Golf for Disability (G4D) circuit players and teams were treated with a Safari experience in the iconic Nairobi National Park by the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) yesterday on the eve of the tournament proper.

KTB seeks to position Kenya for both sports’ tourism and leisure with the excursion being part of a strategy to leverage international events hosted in Kenya and the appeal of the sports personalities with a global appeal.

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