Tue 06 April 2021

Kenya's reputation as a tourism and golfing giant has grown, thanks to the successful Magical Kenya Open and the Kenya Savannah Classic held in the past fortnight. 

Kenya Tourism Board CEO Betty Radier said the two European Tour events have enlightened millions worldwide on the best sceneries the country has to offer. 

"Golf is one of the key sports that continues to play a major role in showcasing Kenya to the world. These events attracted a lot of global attention and also presented an opportunity to showcase to the world that we are safe for travel and ready for business," Radier said. 

Radier said the two events also provided the perfect platform for local players to grow in their art and craft as well as open themselves to global opportunities. 

"The addition of the Kenya Savannah Classic to the list of European Tour events for this year is testament to the trust the outside world has in the destination. It is also a testament to the growing stature of the sport of golf in the country," she said. 

The success of the two events — amidst the coronavirus pandemic — was hailed as a shot in the arm for the country, which was last year named as Africa's top leading golf destination during the World Golf Awards. Kenya beat South Africa, Morocco and Egypt to the prestigious title. 

Radier was speaking at the Nairobi National Park on Saturday where KTB had organised a game drive for the players who had participated in both events. 

Also present was Kenya Open Golf Limited chair Peter Kanyago who described the game drive as a well-deserved break after sweating it out on the golf course.

"I thank ET for having brought us two events back-to-back which went very well. The game drive organised by KTB is important because it gives the players an opportunity to experience Kenya and unwind as they plan to go back to their countries," Kanyago said. 

Meanwhile, Railway Golf Club's Samuel Njoroge and Golf Park's David Wakhu received Sh100,000 each from Kenya Breweries Limited for making the cut at the Magical Kenya Open and Kenya Savannah Classic, respectively. 

KBL, through Johnnie Walker, had promised a cash reward for Kenyan players who made the cut for both events — set at 2-under par and 4-under par for Kenya Open and Savannah Classic respectively. 

"I would like to thank KBL for supporting all the pros. Without their sponsorship, I do not think we would have managed to cater to the demands of this event as it was too expensive for us. We are just glad they bailed us out, and request that they continue with the same spirit," Wakhu said. 

Njoroge, who made the cut at a European Tour for the first time in his professional stint, similarly urged the company to extend its support to golf countrywide. 

"I want to thank Johnnie Walker for standing with us for coming in and helping us financially across these two events. We urge them to do similarly support us next year, but importantly, to continue supporting golf in Kenya," he said.  

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