Bumper entry: Over 50 European players locked out of Magical Kenya Open

Bumper entry: Over 50 European players locked out of Magical Kenya Open

About 50 European golfers are set to miss the 2020 Magical Kenya Open Golf Championship with the organizers reporting oversubscription.

The European Tour event is set to be held in Nairobi for the second year running between March 12-15 at the Karen Country Club.  

Patrick Obath, the tournament director, revealed Monday that the annual championship has received over 200 entries from European tour players with only 144 set to be picked.

“The field this year will remain at 144 players. We have, however, seen a significant increase in interest from the European Tour players to come play at the Magical Kenya Open, with over 200 entries received,” Obath said.

Among the entrants are the tournament’s last five winners led by the defending champion Guido Migliozzi, Lorenzo Gagli (2018), Aaron Rai (2017), Sebastian Soderberg (2016) and Haydn Porteous (2015).

Others big names include Chris Wood, winner of the 2016 BMW PGA Championship; Justin Harding who won the 2019 Qatar Masters; Ashun Wu, winner of the 2018 KLM Open; five-time European Tour champion Alexander Levy; Shubhankar Sharma (2018 Maybank Championship) and Haoton Li who won the Omega Dubai Desert Classic two years ago.

The big number was realized despite the fact that there will be no change in the prize fund that stands at 1.1 million Euros; with the overall winner banking 183,330 Euros .

The eight local players (Kenya) will be led by Dismas Indiza, the overal winner of the East Africa Safari Tour, Greg Snow and Simon Ngige.

 Five names of Kenyan elite amateurs who were selected by the Kenya Golf Union include Samuel Njoroge, Daniel Nduva, Paul Muchangi, Taimur Malik and Mutahi Kabungu. They will be joined by Victor Joseph of Tanzania who has been invited to play.

Apart from the local professionals, Robinson Chinhoi of Zimbabwe and Nigeria’s Andrew Odoh, were the two regional players who qualified through the Safari Tour. 

Organizers have also extended invitations to two South African players, Toto Thimba (winner of the 2019 Karen Masters) and Jayden Schaper.