Nation Media Group (NMG) has injected Sh5 million into this year’s edition of the Barclays Kenya Open Golf Championship. The competition, which will mark its 49th anniversary this year, will be held at the Muthaiga Golf Club between March 23 and 26.
NMG’s Group Chief Executive Officer Joe Muganda explained that Sh1million will be offered in cash, while the rest of the amount will be used to promote the tournament through Nation’s numerous assets.
“This tournament is an important part of our tourism culture and has continued to promote sports both among the youth and people like us. This is why we have chosen to stick with our age old tradition of supporting this initiative and I can assure you that we shall do it wholeheartedly,” he said.
For the past five years, this event has been staged at the Karen Country Club, but it will return to the par-71 Muthaiga course this year, where a total of 150 professional golfers and six local amateurs have confirmed participation from several countries including Britain, France, Spain, Tanzania and South Africa.
Kenya will present 22 professionals and two amateur golfers. Kenya Open Golf Limited sponsorship manager Kathleen Kihenya said that extra effort has been taken to ensure that a Kenyan wins the competition this time round.
“For the first time in the competition’s history, we organised a fortnight long training camp for the Kenyan participants in December last year. They received training from other professionals just to help them prepare better for the championship. The Muthaiga course is also a familiar ground to all of them so we expect that the Kenyans will perform better this year and perhaps even win the tournament,” she said.
The tournament will be preceded by a Pro-Am set for March 22, which will act as a curtain raiser for the prestigious event.
Kenya Open Golf Limited Chairman Peter Kanyago said that the prize money for this year’s event remains Sh24.2Million with the overall winner taking home Sh3.4Million.
The Kenya Open Golf championship is ranked as the oldest and most popular event of the European Challenge Tour, and alternates between the 18-hole courses of the Muthaiga Golf Course and the Karen Country Club.