Dar es Salaam. The star-studded field of 156 golfers, including Tanzania’s Victor Joseph, are in Nairobi for the Kenya Open golf championship, which tees off today at the par 71 Muthaiga Golf Club course.
Any player who sinks a hole-in-one in the traditional 13th hole at the tournament, will walk away with a Mercedes Benz GLC 250 car worth Sh9 million.
The sleek car that is overlooking the lake on the 191-yard par three 13th hole at Muthaiga Club has been donated by DT Dobie.
Both amateurs and pros are eligible to win the prize in the championship that is turning 50 this year.
Joseph, who has been fine-tuning in Kenya since last month, is among six amateurs eyeing top honours in the eagerly awaited championship.
Also on the list are Uganda’s Ronald Rugumayo, South Africa’s Daniel Nduva, a slow starter but a good finisher in all his events, could spring a surprise.
This year, the Open which marks its 50th Anniversary and kicks off the European Challenge Tour series, has attracted probably the strongest field ever in its history.
Besides a number of regular players, including 11 Challenge and European Tour winners, the tournament will also has a number of new faces making their debut in the challenge series, and who are capable of springing some surprises.
Leading Kenya’s challenge will be the big hitter Dismas Indiza, one of the three Kenyans who made it to the money list last year, the others being Rizwan Charania and Simon Ngige.
Indiza is no doubt a dependable player with all the ability to emerge victorious. “The last two rounds have always been a big problem for some of us probably because we are not used to playing four rounds in our events,” said Indiza recently.
He says the recent qualifying events which were all played over 72 holes in various courses had helped them a lot and will help the locals particularly those who will make the cut, to try and play well in the closing rounds.
Besides the three, there is South Africa-based Stefan Andersen, who missed the cut narrowly last year, and Royal Nairobi’s Erick Ooko who has been enjoying a good run lately.