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Race to Dubai on with 16 big golf tourneys

Safari Tour trophy
Kenyan golfers pose for a photo with the Safari Tour trophy at the Nairobi National Park earlier this year. PHOTO | COURTESY 

This week, the European Tour announced the early part of their 2020 season and the Magical Kenya Open has been slotted for March, 12-15, 2020 at the Karen Country Club. This will be the second year that the Magical Kenya Open will be played as a full member of the main European Tour. This will be the 49th European Tour season.

This early announcement includes 16 events that are part of the Race To Dubai and they are spread across 12 different countries including Kenya, Hong Kong, South Africa, Dubai, Mauritius and Australia among others. In an interesting start to the season, two events, the Hong Kong Open and the Alfred Dunhill Championship, SA, will be held simultaneously from November 28 to December 1.

The tour will then move to the Mauritius for the Afrasia Bank Mauritius Open, which is ordinarily sanctioned, by the European, Asian and Sunshine Tour. It then moves to Australian Gold Coast for the Australian PGA Championship at the RACV Royal Pines Resort.

In 2020, the tour kicks off in South Africa for the SA Open hosted by the City of Johannesburg at the Randpark Golf Club and thereafter the Desert Swing follows with the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA from the 16th to 19th January 2020, the Omega Dubai Desert Classic at the Emirates Golf Club from the January 23-26 and the Saudi International Powered by SBIA at the Royal Greens Golf and Country Club from January 30 to February 2, 2020.

The tour returns to the desert with the Oman Open from the Feb 27 to March 1 and the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters from the 5th to 8th March. The Magical Kenya Open follows thereafter from the March 12-15 at the Karen Country Club in Nairobi.

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From Kenya the tour will move East for the Hero Indian Open from March 19-22. The MayBank Championship in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is missing from this early diary.

Another interesting addition to the Tour is the ISPS Handa Vic Open from 6th to 9th February 2020 in Victoria, Australia. This mixed event will feature both men and women professional golfers competing alongside each other in a format that is geared towards igniting interest in the game of golf.

The WGC Mexico Championship, February 20-23, the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play, March 25-29, and the first major of the year, the Masters at Augusta, April 9-12, are also listed on this early schedule.

With the dates of the 2020 Magical Kenya Open now inked in, preparations on all fronts are in full gear. According to Peter Kanyago, the Kenya Open chairman, Kenya is once more ready to host a full tour event. “As the Kenya Open Golf Limitied Board, we have started our preparations for the 2020 Magical Kenya Open. We have put in place various committees to handle the golf course and all venue affairs, security, star player invitations and more importantly the preparation of our local professionals,” he said. “We will soon be kicking off the second edition of the Safari Tour which will once more give our local and regional professionals the opportunity to prepare themselves under top tournament conditions.”

The first leg of the 2019/20 Safari Tour will be held at the Nyali Golf and Country Club from the 24th to 28th of August 2020 and registration is open at www.safaritour.golf. “We are inviting our local professionals, all East African region professionals and even the pros from West Africa to come and join us as we continue to build the sport in Kenya, the region and Africa,” Kanyago added. “This second season of the Safari Tour now includes events in Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania; we are thankful to our sister organizations in those countries for making this possible.”

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