Home COLUMNS AND OPINIONS Top global golfers lined up for Karen Masters

Top global golfers lined up for Karen Masters

by biasharadigest
Society

Top global golfers lined up for Karen Masters

Michael Palmer
Michael Palmer of Bryanston County Club, South Africa follows his tee shot during the second round of KCB Karen Masters last year. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO 

A week today, 156 golfers, will be battling through the second and crucial round at the 2019 KCB Karen Masters which will be held at the Karen Country Club. Of these elite amateurs, local, regional and international golf professionals, only the top 60, and ties, will make it into the weekend to compete for the total prize purse of Sh15m.

Although this will be the third edition of the KCB Karen Masters, it will be the second time it will be played as an integral part of the Sunshine Tour.

For nearly three decades, the Sunshine Tour made several attempts to host an event in Kenya, and by so doing expand their reach north into East Africa and by so doing entrenching their pan-African brand. It was not until 2017, during the 80th year celebrations of the Karen Country Club that the Sunshine Tour finally broke through in Kenya.

Karen and the KCB Bank got together and put together the logistics and monies necessary to firstly stage an invitation event in that inaugural year and consequently a fully sanctioned event in 2018 and again this year.

Speaking in 2018, the immediate past Karen Country Club Chairman, Lawrence Kiambi said the vision of the club was to build an event that would give Kenya’s and indeed East Africa’s top junior golfers, elite amateurs and professional golfers a platform to compete and grow their skills.

“The KCB Karen Masters was designed to give our best and upcoming golfers an opportunity to compete in a world class event and to play alongside some of the best talent in the world,” he said. “We also sought as a club to present playing conditions that meet international standards.”

The Karen Country Club has succeeded on both accounts.

In the next few days, over 100 international golf professionals will start arriving at Karen and they will find a golf course at its prime — manicured greens, running at speeds of 10 feet on the stimpmeter (I suspect that needle will be pushed upwards of 12 feet during the event next week), the fairways resemble the pitch at Old Trafford, narrow on some holes but ever so pleasing to the eye and the weather is great for golf and for golf fans alike — not hot and not cold either — just perfect!

Among the Sunshine Tour professionals expected at Karen next week is the defending champion Michael Palmer who will be eager to defend his trophy. Nine of the top ten Sunshine Tour players will also be in town, they include — Daniel Van Tonder (1st), JC Ritchie (2nd), Callum Mowat (3rd), Garrick Higgo (5th), Martin Rohwer (6th), Thriston Lawrence (7th), Neil Schietekat (8th), Jacques Blaauw (9th) and Steve Surry (10th). The Kenyan charge will be led by Dismas Indiza, Greg Snow, Simon Ngige, CJ Wangai, Riz Charania and Mohit Mediratta.

Action at Karen will start with a Pro-Am on Wednesday the 26th of June, 2019, that will include 108 amateur golfers playing alongside about 40 professionals. The tournament proper will be played from Thursday the 27th June to Sunday the 30th of June, 2019.

Tickets for the KCB Karen Masters are available on www.ke.kcbgroup.com. The tickets will include access to the after parties that will follow the golf! I have it on good authority that artistes Nyashinski, Naiboi, Heavy K, Nadia Mukami, DJ Stretch, DJ Roudge and others will be on stage! Get your straw hats and party shoes ready!

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