Kenya will host a Ladies European Tour Golf tournament for the first time courtesy of Vipingo Ridge Golf Resort and event organisers U.COM Event.
The inaugural tournament is set for December 5 to 8 after the Pro-Am tournament on December 4.
About 96 players are expected to participate in the tournament sponsored by Magical Kenya and presented by Safaricom through its M-Pesa brand.
It will be the first time professional lady golfers will have played competitively in the region and also the final event of the 2019 season.
It will be held at the Baobab Course, a certified European Tour course at Vipingo Ridge Golf Resort in Kilifi County.
Earlier this year, 12 players from the Ladies European Tour, made a special appearance in Kenya and played two Pro-Ams at Vipingo Ridge.
The 72-hole stroke play competition will prove a significant milestone in the history of the sport in Kenya and work to motivate the next generation of female players throughout the country.
Kenya, has so far hosted the European Challenge, main European Tour and the European Seniors Tour.
“We are pleased to host the Magical Kenya Ladies Open for the first time. lt is our hope and expectation that your participation will inspire other women to take up the sport and awaken their potential to play professionally,” said Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed.
The tournament will be broadcast live across the globe to millions of viewers and will showcase Kenya as a unique golfing and holiday destination as well as elevate the country as an important player on the world’s stage, not just in terms of golf but sports in general.
“Our long-term vision of bringing women’s professional golf to Kenya is finally now a reality. We are always striving to find new destinations for the Ladies European Tour and the Kenyan Coast will be a memorable one for players, their guests and TV spectators worldwide,” said Dirk Glittenberg, managing director of U.COM Event.
“Following on the heels of an exciting Solheim Cup in Scotland, Vipingo Ridge is proud to be playing its part in promoting ladies’ golf as well as tourism in Kenya. We are especially pleased to be bringing the event to the Coast region,” said Alastair Cavenagh Vipingo Ridge Resort chairman.
“We are honoured to be a key sponsor of the first ever Ladies European Tour event in Kenya and the region,” said Michael Joseph, Safaricom interim CEO.
The Ladies European Tour, which is based at the Buckinghamshire Golf Club near London celebrates women’s golf on a global stage.
Since its formation in 1978, it has crowned more than 250 different winners and 700 championship trophies have been won by players from nearly 30 different countries.
The Ladies European Tour operates tournaments across the continents and The Solheim Cup, which has been played 16 times biannually since 1990, has become one of the biggest female sporting events in the world.
The event’s Access Series is the official developmental tour and bridges the gap from amateur to professional golf, giving young players the opportunity to gain valuable competitive experience and progress to the main professional tour.
The Board of Directors are the guardians of the tour and, along with the Players Council, ensure the tour continues to grow and improve for players, fans and all associates.
“We are excited to help Kenya build its reputation as a preferred golf destination for women and girls,” said Ladies European Tour Chair Marta Figueras-Dotti.