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Magical Kenya Ladies Open starts at Vipingo

by kenya-tribune

This year’s Magical Kenya Ladies Open, a Ladies European Tour event, tees off at the par 72 PGA Baobab Course at Vipingo Ridge Resort in Kilifi County on Thursday from 8am.

A field of 96 players drawn from various countries in Europe, USA, Asia, E-Swatini and Kenya will battle it out for the top prize of Sh6 million, plus some points towards the U.Com managed tour, which is the opening event of the 2023 season.

It follows Wednesday’s Pro-Am, a curtain-raiser which brought together the visiting professionals and local amateurs.

Leading the field in what promises to be a hotly contested event will be defending champion, Germany’s Esther Henseleit, who fought from behind to clinch her last two titles in 2022 and 2019.

Sophie Hausmann

Germany’s Sophie Hausmann follows her tee shot during the Magical Kenya Ladies Open Pro-Am event at the Vipingo Ridge Golf Course in Kilifi County on February 1, 2023.

Photo credit: Kevin Odit | Nation Media Group

She begins her campaign at 1.20pm in the company of Sweden’s Johanna Gustavsson and Austria’s Christine Wolf.

Other title contenders include Johanna Hustavsson who finished in 11th place last year.

There is also Slovakia’s Pia Babnik, who was ranked fourth last season, Emma Grechi (France) and Linnea Strom (Sweden), who started well in last year’s tournament before Henseleit emerged in the closing round.

Players will be aiming to make the second round cut before the charge for the title on Saturday and Sunday.

Among the pros chasing the title is Swaziland’s Nobuhle Dlamini who played well last year to make the cut.

The home charge includes 16-year-old Channelle Wangare who is among five leading female golfers, who were included in this year’s tournament.

Others are Vipingo based Naomi Wafula and Jacquelyne Walter, Vet Lab’s Mercy Nyanchama and Golf Park’s Nancy Wairimu.

M-Pesa has sponsored all the five Kenyan players to the tune of Sh1 million and also kitted them.

Safaricom is among the sponsors of this year’s tournament, others include the Ministry of Sports, EABL and KCB.

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