Returning to PGA, Sweden’s Lina Boqvist led her team of Richard Frost, Sue Williamson and Betty Bundotich to win the Pro-Am event held yesterday at the Vipingo Ridge ahead of today’s Magical Kenya Ladies Open.
With a team score of 27-under par, Lina’s team recorded a shot better than the Kenya Tourism Board’s team lead by Finland’s Emily Penttila, comprising Nancy Wairimu, Ruth Omwansa, and Mukami Wangai, which came in second with a team score of 26-under par. Lina played at the inaugural Magical Kenya Ladies Open event in 2019, finishing tied in 60th, ended the 2021 season in 46th place in the Ladies European Tour (LET)Money List and looks set to start her 2022 campaign on a high.
Meanwhile, 2019 Magical Kenya Ladies Open Champion Esther Henseleit from Germany led her Kenya Tourism Board team of Rory Elliot, Regina Gachora and East African Breweries Managing Director Jane Karuku to a third-spot finish with a team score of 24-under par.
Esther comes to the event having finished in 45th position in the LET money list after taking part in four events in 2021. Speaking to ladieseuropeantour.com, she said she is taking it in her stride and is focused on playing well rather than the result.
“I feel pretty relaxed coming here. I won’t put too many expectations on myself; of course, I want to play well and maybe even win, but I’m a new golfer and a new person now, so we’ll see how it goes. I’m a bit more grown-up now, but I’m still not the perfect golfer yet; I’m still working on that,” she said.
The Pro-Am event was played off the Texas Scramble, where all team members tee off then decide which drive is the best. From there, all team members place their golf balls where the chosen drive ended up, with all members playing a second shot from this spot. One is chosen from these second shots, and all play a third shot from there – and so on until the ball is holed. Each team returns one score for each hole, and the team with the lowest score for the round wins.
The Pro-Am was the precursor to the main Magical Kenya Ladies Open tournament, which tees-off this morning with a field of 94 taking to the par-72 Baobab Course to battle it out over 18 holes. The tournament is the season opener for the 2022 Ladies European Tour, with a total prize purse of €300,000 (Approximately KES 38 million).
The tournament is sponsored by The Government of Kenya – through the Ministry of Sports, Ministry of Tourism, and the Sports Fund – Huawei; Safaricom’s M-Pesa; Johnnie Walker; and Centum. It is jointly organized by the U.Com event and Vipingo Ridge and is part of the Ladies European Tour.