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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Kenyan premier Karen Masters golf tourney attracts big field

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Over 150 local and international golf players will compete in Kenya’s KCB Karen Masters, which is a sanctioned Sunshine Tour tournament starting on Thursday in Nairobi.

The tournament proper, which teeing off on Thursday has attracted 156 players eyeing part of the 150,000 U.S. dollar prize pack on offer and chance for the overall winner to pull on the prestigious blue jacket.

This will be the first professional golf tournament to be sanctioned by the South Africa-based Tour in East Africa.

The tournament has had other stops in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Swaziland with majority of the Sunshine Tour held in South Africa. The field of 156 players has been drawn from the Sunshine Tour in South Africa, Kenya and across the East African region.

The tourney has two Pro-Am events - on Tuesday and Wednesday - to help draw the best amateurs to join the professional in the finals from Thursday to Sunday.

Sunshine Tour tournament director Garry Todd said the event will help develop the sport in East Africa.

“It’s a dream come true for Sunshine Tour, we are delighted to come to East Africa, This will develop golf in the region,” said Todd.

The foreign pros, who will be joined by the 32 Kenyan pros and four local amateurs on Thursday for the tournament proper, arrived in the country on Sunday well in time for a busy golfing week.

For the professionals, it’s an opportunity to practice on the par 72 Karen Country Golf Club course ahead of the tee off with the main event having four rounds as opposed to the three preferred in the inaugural edition in 2017.

On Tuesday a total of 31 teams featuring 31 pros participated in the Pro-Am event where South African Smit Cambrinck won posting 94 points. The second Pro-Am is set for Wednesday where about 30 pros will be in action.

This is the first international golf tournament played in Kenya with the second being the European Challenge Tour, which is sanctioned as Barclays Kenya Open.

           

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