Drastic changes at this year’s European Challenge Tour event set for Karen Club

By Lynette Matheka
Thursday, August 13th, 2020
Kenya Open Golf Limited (KOGL) chairperson Peter Kanyago.
In summary

Kenya Open Golf Limited (KOGL) chairperson Peter Kanyago has confirmed that this year’s Kenya Open set for November will be played for four days, with no Pro-Am preceding the tournament.

In its second year as a European Tour event, the main tournament is usually preceded by a Pro-Am competition where qualified amateurs get to play a round of golf alongside the professionals. 

“There will be no Pro-Am for this year’s event. However, the qualified amateurs will play with the rest of the field for the four days.

These are just some of the changes that the European Tour has effected alongside others like having no spectators,” said Kanyago in an interview. 

Additionally, the event will have no marshals like is witnessed in other editions. 

Only golfers,  their caddies,  accredited media and few officials will be allowed at the Karen Country Club for the duration of competition. 

“Everyone with access to the grounds will have to undergo tests and have a certificate confirming that they are Covid-19 negative.

 The plans so far are that all golfers and their caddies will be confined to hotels, after getting tested, for the four days to reduce the possibility of infection,” the chairperson added.  

KOGL is in consultations with various authorities on any other health guidelines, both from the Ministry of Health and the European Tour set protocol, that will need to be observed. 

Meanwhile, plans are at advanced stages to start the next round of the Safari Tour,  the Kenya Open qualifying series, early to give local pros and amateurs a chance to prepare for this year’s Open in a competition setting.  

“We are consulting with the clubs, since most are now open to members, to have the series start soon.  This will help locals in preparation.

However, the agreement is they will have to play without caddies,”  Kanyago said.

Nine Kenyan pros and three others from the region, one each from Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Uganda will be joined by six amateurs, five locals and one Tanzanian for the local slots.  The rest of the field includes European Tour pros.

Local pros will be led by long hitting Dismas Indiza, Simon Ngige, Greg Snow,  David Wakhu,  John Wangai, Erick Ooko, Riz Charania, Jastas Madoya and Kopan Timbe.