Kenya will be represented by 27 professional players when the KCB Karen Masters enter its second year as a Sunshine Tour event between June 26 and 30 at Karen Golf Club.
Professional Golfer of Kenya (PGK) chairman Charan Thethy said the pros will be picked from the ongoing Road To Karen Masters series.
Six players who made the cut at the Kenya Open and last year’s Karen Masters top players will be given direct tickets.
Justus Madoya and Simon Ngige, who finished T25 at last year’s Magical Kenya Open will earn direct tickets as well the top four at last year’s Karen Masters.
“I’m glad that our pros are preparing well through the Road To The Masters series. The Sunshine Tour event gives Kenyan pros an opportunity to brush shoulders with top players in the world,” Charan said.
“The Sunshine Tour has been a good avenue for South Africans to break into the European Tour and this is also a good route for home players.”
The tournament will bring together 152 Pros and four amateurs for four days of action. Of these, 100 Pros will fly in from the Sunshine Tour to join 47 local and regional professionals.
“The tournament has grown in stature and we are delighted to welcome top class golfers. We are redefining the golfing experience in the region,” said KCB Group Chief Operating Officer Sam Makome.
Tournament Director, Andy Watt, said it is all systems go for the event.
“We have been working round the clock to meet the deadlines and I am happy to present a great course and facilities for the 2019 KCB Karen Masters. We have also made some changes to the way the golf holes will be played,” said Andy.
“The first nine holes will be played as normal, however the current 13th to 18th holes will play as the 10th to 15th holes and the current 10th to 12th holes will play as the 16th to 18th holes.”
There will be a cut on June 28 that will see the golfers reduced to 60, who will compete for top honours on June 29 and 30.
“KCB’s investment in the Karen Masters is informed by the need to continually support the expansion of sport tourism in East Africa, one of the fastest growing sectors in the East Africa tourism industry,” Makome added.
“It resonates at many levels with KCB’s agenda to grow sports in East Africa as one of the biggest sponsors across disciplines. We are proud of our golf sponsorship novelty over the years. For us golf is an avenue of networking with our current and potential customers.”
Johnnie Walker, Standard Group, Coca Cola and DT Dobie have joined the sponsorship table to enhance the experience at the village for the thousands of fans expected.
Title sponsors KCB Bank have invested Sh70m towards the event with Sh15m set aside as prize money.