Jake Roos and Michael Palmer will be returning to this year’s KCB Karen Masters with fond memories.
Both have every reason to be optimistic about their chances on a course they know really well.
Roos won the Kenya Open at the same venue in 2014 and has high hopes of racking up his maiden Masters title when the Crème de la Crème of Sunshine Tour descends on the Par 71 Karen Country Club course from June 26-30.
Roos clinched the 2014 Kenya Open in dramatic fashion with a gross total of 10 under par 278 while Palmer carded a remarkable last round of 5-under par 67 for a total 18-under par 270 to claim the coveted Karen Masters blue jacket last year.
During last year’s KCB Karen Masters, Roos, wrapped up his spirited campaign on 12-under to finish seventh and it will be interesting to ascertain just what’s up his sleeves this time round.
Roos was the number one ranked South African amateur golfer before turning professional in 2005 and then joined the Sunshine Tour by finishing 4th at Q-school.
Roos and Palmer will face some tough opposition from a field which will be itching to tee it up at one of Kenya’s most prestigious course.
Chief amongst them will be Daniel van Tonder, who won his first Sunshine Tour tournament in 2014 at the Investec Royal Swazi Open and Hennie du Plessis winner of the Vodacom Origins – Sishen in 2017.
Also in the mix is Zimbabwe’s Ryan Cairns. The professional golfer from, Royal Harare Golf Club was among the star attractions last year upon clinching the Hole-in-One prize, a brand new 3-litre 16 valve Toyota Land Cruiser Prado valued at Sh10.3 Million
KCB Karen Masters Tournament Director Andy Watt has since announced a stellar entry comprising a huge chunk of South African high-flying pros. He nevertheless noted that the entry for this year’s event is already over-subscribed.
“The entry list as of now is over-subscribed with 165 players. We will have 100 senior professionals coming from the Sunshine Tour to be joined by 27 Kenyan pros selected from Professional Golfers of Kenya (PGK) rankings,” said Watt.
He noted that “the ever-increasing interest of elite Sunshine Tour pros is a testament to the event’s growing popularity”. Watt added that they will be targeting 5000 spectators this year. Last year’s edition attracted 2000 fans.
KCB is sponsoring this year’s event to a lucrative tune of Ksh. 70 Million. The Bank has invited partners including Johnnie Walker, Standard Group, Coca Cola and DT Dobie to spice up the occasion at the village for the thousands of golf fans expected to grace the event.
There will be a cut on Friday 28th June that will see 152 golfers reduced to 60, who will compete on the preceding last two rounds