Fadhili Nkya has secured a ticket to play in this year’s edition of Kenya Open golf championship that tees off at the 7,236 yards par 71 Muthaiga Golf Club in Northern Nairobi on March 29.
The Tanzania Golf Union’s administrator, Sophie Nyanjera, confirmed of Nkya’s direct entry into the lucrative European Challenge Tour event to be played on the African soil for the year.
Nyanjera said The Kenya Open organizers have given Tanzania only one direct entry and other players wishing to feature for the event have to play a pre-tournament qualifier on Monday preceding the event.
The TGU official said already six Tanzanian professionals have submitted names to play the pre-tournament qualifier.
Only five top placed professionals from the pre-qualifier will be admitted into the Kenya Open berth that tees off the subsequent Thursday at the Muthaiga.
The six Tanzanian professionals who are on their way to Nairobi for the pre-qualifier include the oldest in the ranks Salim Mwanyenza, Rajab Idd, Hassan Kadio, Yasin Saleh, Bryson Nyenza and Sebastian Mtupili.
Nkya will be making his third appearance in the championship after two other attempts ended in vain to miss the third round qualifier cut.
Mwanyenza was the last Tanzania professional to win the Kenya Open cut during the 2004 when the tournament was staged at par-70 Karen Country Club in Southern Nairobi,
Nyenza and Saleh have once made appearance in the championship but they would not make the elusive cut as well.
Mtupili, Kadio and Idd are making their debut attempt to win a slot into the championship highly attended by most of the African and European professionals.
The tournament is expected to draw a field of 156 players, including six amateurs from the host country.
No East African professional has ever managed to win the event since it was admitted into the European PGA Challenge Tour series.
South African Trevor Immelman is the first golfer from the continent to win the title way back in 2000 and was later followed by another South African Ashley Roestoff two years later,
Kenya’s Jacob Okello came close to win the title in 1998 but lost on the third hole of the sudden death play-off to Argentine Ricardo Gonzalez.
The event would feature over 15 Kenyan professionals who have points in the order of merit series and more are expected to come from the pre-tournament qualifier should the home boys do well.
The tournament prize package is Euros 190,000 courtesy of Barclays Bank.