The Kenya Open Golf Limited (KOGL) has tripled the total prize money from Sh1 million to Sh3 million for the last leg of the 2019/2020 Safari Tour Series scheduled for Karen Country Club.
The increase in prize money will mean that the winner of the event will take home Sh450,000 up from the usual Sh150,000, which has been in offer for all the events save for last year's Uganda Open, whose prize money was Sh5 million.
Commenting on the prize fund boost, KOGL Tournament Director, Patrick Obath, said the move will give players greater motivation to compete for the final qualification slots for the forthcoming Magical Kenya Open, presented by Absa, which will also take place at Karen Country Club from March 12 to 15.
"We expect the level of competition to go a notch higher with the prize fund increase and look forward to a grand finish to the tournament at the Karen. Our desire is to see many low scores at this event as we near this year's Magical Kenya Open," he said.
"The Safari Tour has this season witnessed enhanced competition and performance; pointing to a gradual growth and development in the players' game and giving all of us great encouragement for our local players' prospects at this year's Kenya Open. Our hope is that the players will use the opportunity at Karen to prepare for the Kenya Open which will be played at the same venue and following the same format."
Professional Golfers of Kenya (PGK) captain, John Wangai, welcomed the move.
"Most professional golfers in Kenya have been looking forward to this as the prize fund is what boosts the morale of the players. I expect that we will see a bigger number of players from other countries coming down this Saturday because of the prize money," said Wangai.
The increase of the prize money will also see the Order of Merit points increased for the winner from 50 to 75 points, meaning that for the players, who are in marginal positions not only stand a chance of making good money from the outing, but also stand a substantial boost of qualifying for the Magical Kenya Open.
Currently, Dismas Indiza leads in the Order of Merit ranking with a total of 395.1 points, followed by Thika Sports Club's Simon Ngige and Muthaiga's Greg Snow on 381.9 and 376.5 points respectively.
For the battle for the two regional slots, it is Nigeria's Andrew Oche Odoh, who is in second place with 210 points, behind the leader Robson Chinhoi of Zimbabwe, who leads with 214 points, while Uganda's Philip Kasozi is third on 208.5 points.