Tournament director, Patrick Obath,
Only one professional golfer will be allowed to join the field of 150 others from the rest of the world in next month’s Barclays Kenya Open championship to be played at the Karen Country and Golf Club in Nairobi.
In a telephone interview from the Kenyan capital, the tournament director, Patrick Obath, said even the single entry for Tanzania will only be available upon request.
Obath said so far he has not received any request from Tanzania as the deadline for submission is set on January 31.
He did not rule out for additional slot as the organizers have set up a prevent 36-hole qualifying event for those locals and other East Africans who will be locked out of the January 31st entry line-up.
He said the qualifier event will be played at the Karen Country and Golf club located south of the Kenyan capital on February 7 and 8.
Five top-placed golfers at the end of the special qualifier will join the rest of the field for the Kenya Open which is this year played earlier to give room to the country’s general election.
The tournament director said the room is still wide open for Tanzania to send its representative for the next month’s Kenya Open championship which is one of the 30 events lined up for the new season that tees off on January 31.
Should any Tanzanian professional wish to feature for the qualifier, Obath said there is no objection.
Previously, the Kenya Open organizers have been giving Tanzania two slots for the tournament.
No reason was given to the new change of the number of slots but poor performance and inconsistency by Tanzanian professionals played an important role to discourage the event’s organisers.
Salim Mwanyenxa remains the last Tanzanian professional to have made the Kenya Open cut in 2004 when Karen hosted the tournament.
Other Tanzania professionals who followed later would not make the cut including a huge number of entry allowed by the organizers during the 2006 edition that saw four Tanzanian golfers competing. These were Stanley Sanga, Olais Mollel, John Davis Jr and Adam Mohamed.
Other Tanzanians who would not cross the second round cut of the tournament in the subsequent Kenya Open events include Byrson Nyenza, Fadhili Nkya, Yasin Saleh and Mbwana Juma who made his only cut in 1998 at Muthaiga Golf Club.
Since 2004 Mwanyenza has been locked out of the tournament in a bid to open room for new generation of players who have so far proved failure due to drastic fall of the game in Tanzania.
Nkya was the last player to feature in the Kenya Open championship’s previous edition played at the Muthaiga and won by Seve Benson who beat the field of 156 that included six amateurs.
The Gujarat Kensville Challenge 2013 will be curtain raiser to this season’s European Challenge tour and will be played at the Kensville Golf and Country Club in Ahmedabad.
Kenya Open whose prize package purse is Euros 195,000 and is among the top ten richest events in the European Challenge tour calendar for the year 2013.