Total prize money for the fifth leg of the Safari Tour golf series has tripled to KES. 3 Million. This follows a sponsorship boost from both Barclays Bank of Kenya and Johnnie Walker who have contributed KES 1 Million each.
The increase in sponsorship means that the Professional winner of the Safari Tour leg at the Muthaiga Golf Club will bank Sh450,000 up from Sh150,000 in previous legs.
Speaking while making the announcement, Kenya Open Golf Limited Chairman, Mr. Peter Kanyago, lauded both Barclays Bank of Kenya and Johnnie Walker for their support towards the sport of Golf.
"At the Kenya Open Golf Limited are delighted to receive this sponsorship and are grateful to both Barclays Bank of Kenya and Johnnie Walker for their continued support. With this significant increase in prize money we expect our Professional golfers to up their game, he said.
Commenting on the sponsorship, Barclays Bank of Kenya Managing Director, Jeremy Awori, said that the Bank's partnership with KOGL in the Safari Tour is yet another opportunity to continue driving the development of golf in the country, even as we approach the 2019 Kenya open tournament.
"Over the past 9 years, we have walked hand-in-hand with KOGL in growing the profile of Kenya as a golfing destination and as we transition from Barclays to Absa, we have an even stronger resolve to be an active force for good in the societies where we operate. We will therefore continue investing in such initiatives to enable Kenyans bring their possibilities to life, Mr. Awori said. "We remain committed to engaging and delighting our stakeholders at their various passion points through such events, an agenda that we intend to advance during and after our transition to Absa, he said.
On her part, Kenya Breweries Limited Managing Director Jane Karuku reiterated the company's commitment to supporting sports in the country, while noting the importance of the Safari Tour.
"At KBL, we remain committed to supporting the growth of all sports in Kenya, we have over the years been one of the longest standing partners of Golf in the country. The Safari Tour gives us another opportunity to help in the growth of Golf, by actively participating in the preparation of our local pros ahead of the 2019 Kenya Open, she said.
"I am confident that the money we have put into the Safari Tour will go a long way in helping our local professionals with the final preparations, ahead of the 2019 Kenya Open and I look forward to improved performances at the tournament. She added.
Commenting on the same, the Professionals Golfer of Kenya Chairman, Charan Thethy, welcomed the move, adding that it will boost the Kenyan professionals' morale as they take part in the penultimate round of the Safari Tour 2018/19 season.
"We are delighted at the news of additional support from Barclays and Johhnie Walker towards the Safari Tour and believe that the increased in prize kitty will boost the morale of players as they take part in the round as well as enhance the competition among players, he said.
The golf series, which was launched in August last year as a precursor to this year's Kenya Open Golf Championship, has so far been played in Nyali, Vetlab, Limuru and Thika Greens, will be proceeding to the fifth leg set to take place at the Muthaiga Golf Club from Friday, 11th January 2018 to Wednesday 16th January 2018.