Local professional golfers will at least play one more competitive tournament prior to this year’s KCB Karen Masters — set for June 26 to 30 — courtesy of paints firm Crown Paints Company, which, in addition to its ongoing amateur series, have decided to sponsor a professional event.
On Monday, Crown Paints CEO Rakesh Rao presented a one million shillings cheque as prize fund, to the Professional Golfers of Kenya chairman Charan Thethy at Muthaiga Golf Club, the venue of the pro event to be known as Crown Paints Invitational set for June 4 to 7.
Crown Paints Kenya Chief Executive Rakesh Rao (second right) pose with a dummy cheque handed over the Professional Golfers of Kenya chairman Charan Thethy (second left) for Crown Paints Invitational set for June 4 to 7, 2019 at the Muthaiga Golf Club.
Speaking before the cheque handover, the Crown boss said he had agreed to a request from the PGK to sponsor a pro event, particularly at this time when the pros are preparing for the Karen Masters.
“As the number one paint company in the country for the past 60 years, we would like to see a number one Kenyan in the Kenya Open or the Karen Masters. I believe it is possible with good exposure and focus for one of the local pros win such an event like the Open,” said Rao.
He told the local pros not to give up as there is nothing impossible in anything including winning the Kenya Open.
“You must find a way of how to tune up for such events. It is about a mindset change and pay attention to one’s plan on any event even, though some of the international players who come for the open are well exposed and play more events than our local pros, but that does not mean it is not possible for a Kenyan to win such an event. I look forward to some of you play well during the forthcoming Karen Masters,” he added.
Crown Paints has been sponsoring amateur golf events in various clubs in the country as well as other East African countries like Uganda and Tanzania. It has 11 events spread all over the country, four of them having already been held at Nakuru, Thika, Kiambu and Nanyuki Sports Club.
Others will take place at Vet Lab and Kenya Railway in June, Royal Nairobi, Sigona in August, and Kericho, Muthaiga in September, with the the last one in Kitale on October 26.
The PGK chairman said the Crown Paints Invitational will be offering a great opportunity for the local pros as they prepare to tackle the South Africans and other international players in the KCB Karen Masters.
“This is the only 72- hole event the local pros will participate before the Masters and it’s a great opportunity for us as it will help us do our final preparation but also a good chance to make money to cover the expenses for the Masters,” said Thethy.
He said he is expecting a field of about 42 pros to battle it out for the top prize of Sh150,000.
There will be a cut after the second round where the top 20 and ties will proceed to the last two rounds.
It will be taking place a week before the final leg of the KCB Road to Karen Masters series at Royal Nairobi Golf Club from June 13 to 15, where the top 20 pros in the order of Merit based on the four events the pros would have played, to qualify for the Sunshine Tour sanctioned Karen Masters.
Source: Daily Nation