The field of 108 players is set for this week’s Magical Kenya Ladies Open presented by Safaricom’s M-Pesa, which will be played on the PGA Baobab Course at Vipingo Ridge on 5-8 December 2019. An impressive 28 countries from six continents are being represented during this inaugural Ladies European Tour (LET) event, including many in Africa. Hosts Vipingo Ridge, in partnership with event organisers U.COM Event GmbH, title sponsor Magical Kenya and presenting partner M-Pesa, are delighted to welcome 11 players from across the continent, including five from Kenya, to compete on this notoriously challenging course in view of the Indian Ocean.
Georgia Iziemgbe Oboh from Nigeria (above) who represented her country at the Youth Olympics in 2018, up-and-coming Swaziland player Nobuhle Dlamini, Stacy Lee Bregman and Lejan Lewthwaite from South Africa, Maha Haddioui from Morocco (below) as well as American Lakareber Abe, born from Ugandan parents, are all in Kenya, ready to participate in the LET 2019 Season finale.
Kenya will be represented by five players. The five Kenyan players are Nyali Golf Club’s lady professional Bhavi Shah and amateurs Naomi Wafula, Agnes Nyakio, Mercy Nyanchama and Margaret Njoki. A spot check on the five ladies made for encouraging reading as they put the final touches to their preparations ahead of the tournament.
Golf Park’s amateur Naomi Wafula (below), fresh from playing at the Great Rift Valley Lodge & Golf Resort leg of the Safari Tour golf series, expressed her delight in getting the opportunity to play at the Magical Kenya Ladies Open. “It is a great feeling to be invited to play at the Magical Kenya Ladies Open. It will be a great learning opportunity as I look to turn Pro in the near future.”
Speaking on her preparations, she said: “I am just back from playing in the Safari Tour at the Great Rift Valley Lodge & Golf Resort. I’m currently working on my short game and look forward to a great showing at Vipingo Ridge.”
Vet Lab’s Mercy Nyanchama said “I am proud to represent Kenya in the competition and I look forward to playing alongside professionals from all over the world.”
“With the Ladies KGU calendar done for the year, I have been playing in several captain prize tournaments as well as getting several training rounds at my club in preparation for the MKLO. I am hoping to play well and looking to learn from the professionals as much as I can,” she added.
Sigona Golf Club’s Agnes Nyakio noted that the Magical Kenya Ladies Open is a big step up from what she has been accustomed to. “This will be the first time that I will be playing against professionals, apart from the few Pro-Ams I have played in, so it will be a big step up for me. As much as I have been working on my game, I have also put a lot of emphasis on my mental aspect, this being the Magical Kenya Ladies Open.”
Nyali Golf Club’s Bhavi Shah has so far played in two Safari Tour events in Nyali and at the Royal Nairobi Golf Club against male professionals in preparation for the event.
In a statement from the Kenya Ladies Golf Union, Chairperson Phyllis Kimbo said: “We are delighted that our Kenyan players have this chance to play with and learn from the best of the best. It really is a tremendous opportunity to be exposed to world-class golf and they will be able to interact with and pick up tips from the Ladies European Tour professionals. The tournament will motivate junior players and we encourage everyone to go and watch this wonderful event.”
“Kenya is honoured to host this prestigious ladies’ event and the Kenya Ladies Golf Union is extremely proud to have partnered with the Ministry of Sports, Arts and Heritage, the Ladies European Tour, Vipingo Ridge, M-Pesa and promoters U.COM. We are looking forward to an exciting week of top ladies golf,” she added.
The Pro-Am on Wednesday 4th December will see Kenya’s amateur golfers take to the course, teaming up with the professionals to compete against one another in a friendly game before the main event.
For more information about the event, please contact [email protected]