What you need to know:
- The tour whose total prize fund per event will be Sh2 million, an increase from last season’s Sh1 million per event fund, will for now have a total of eight events
- Speaking during Friday’s virtual launch of the tour, Kenya Open Golf Limited tournament director Patrick Obath said one of the reasons why the tour start had been delayed was lack of sponsors
- Obah said they have tried to put back to back events in order to minimise expenses by the players especially those coming from outside Kenya
The Kenya Open Golf Limited owned Safari Tour for the 2021/22 season which had been scheduled to start in August, but was postponed because of various reasons including the Covid-19 pandemic, is now on and the opening tournament is set for next weekend at the 6,892 yards par 72 Sigona Golf Club course.
The tour whose total prize fund per event will be Sh2 million, an increase from last season’s Sh1 million per event fund, will for now have a total of eight events, all to be staged at various Kenyan clubs as the rest of East Africa region prepare to join later.
Speaking during Friday’s virtual launch of the tour, Kenya Open Golf Limited tournament director Patrick Obath said one of the reasons why the Tour's start had been delayed was lack of sponsors.
“It has not been easy to get sponsors and though right now we have a couple of them, we are still waiting for more to confirm,’’ said Obath.
On the prize fund, Obath said it was their wish to try and improve it to about Sh3 million as the Safari Tour prepares to register as a world ranking tour.
On the other hand, Obath said they have tried to put back to back events in order to minimise expenses by the players especially those coming from outside Kenya.
“We have not included the regional events such as the Uganda Open because of the Covid-19 pandemic protocols but as soon as the rest of the regions are ready, we'll put them on board. But as we work towards the World Ranking stage, we need to encourage more players particularly from the West Africa region so that we are able to have a maximum field of about 124 players,’’ added Obath.
Professional Golfers of Kenya (PGK) captain John Wangai who represents the players interest in the Safari Tour board, thanked organisers for ensuring the tourney takes place.
“The players have already started preparing for the Tour and are more than ready to battle it out for the top prize of Sh230,000 during the opening event at Sigona,’’ said Wangai.
The Sigona event from September 25 to 29, will be followed by four events in the month of October.
The full list is as follows; Vet Lab Sports Club, October 2 to 6, Great Rift Valley Resort in Naivasha, October 9 to 13, Nyali Golf and Country Club Mombasa, October 16 to 20, Leisure Lodge Beach and Golf Resort October 23 to 27.
The remaining events will take place at Limuru Country Club in January 22 to 26, 2022, Karen Country Club on February 5 to 9 and at Muthaiga Golf Club from February 12 to 16, 2022.
Obath said that the dates will be adjusted if and when the rest of the East African countries confirm their events such as the Uganda Open.
He said there was a proposal of Rwanda and Tanzania joining the Tour but this is still work in progress.