Muthaiga to make European Tour debut for the return of Magical Kenya Open

by | Oct 29, 2021 | 0 comments

Justin Harding and Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya pose with the trophy at the Magical Kenya Open this year (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

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The European Tour will visit the historic Muthaiga Golf Club for the first time when the Magical Kenya Open returns to the Race to Dubai from March 3-6, 2022.

The Magical Kenya Open has a history dating back to 1967 and appeared on the European Tour’s schedule for the first time in 2019, having previously taken its place on the Challenge Tour schedule since 1991.

Muthaiga has hosted Kenya’s national open on 40 previous occasions, including the tournament’s very first edition, with Seve Ballesteros, José María Olazábal and Ian Woosnam among those to have lifted the trophy at the Nairobi venue.

The 2022 edition will mark the first time the European Tour has visited the prestigious Muthaiga Golf Club – which was established in the 1920s – after Karen Country Club, also in the Kenyan capital, hosted to the Race to Dubai event in 2019 and 2021.

Justin Harding claimed the 2021 Magical Kenya Open title courtesy of a two-stroke triumph over American Kurt Kitayama, with the South African winning for the second time on the European Tour and eighth time overall on the African continent, having seven Sunshine Tour victories already to his name.

European Tour Chief Executive Keith Pelley said: “We are thrilled to be returning to Nairobi for the Magical Kenya Open in 2022, and to be visiting Muthaiga Golf Club for the first time since the event was elevated to European Tour status in 2019.

“Muthaiga has a long and storied history and has hosted Kenya’s national open on more occasions than any other venue, so it will undoubtedly be a worthy host venue for the stars of the European Tour.

“We enjoy a strong relationship with promoters Kenya Open Golf Limited and we look forward to working with them once again, while we are grateful to Magical Kenya and the Kenyan Government for their continued support.”

The Chairman of the Kenya Open Golf Limited, Peter Kanyago, expressed the organisations plans to stage a historic 53rd edition of the Kenya Open Championship.

He said: “Since 1967, the Kenya Open Championship has been attracting some of the top golfers in the world. We are committed to continuing with this tradition and with the support of the European Tour, we plan to host a truly memorable 2022 Kenya Open Championship.”

Cabinet Secretary for Sports Culture and Heritage, Amb. Dr. Amina Mohamed, hailed the Magical Kenya Open as a Kenyan asset: “The Magical Kenya Open has grown in popularity and stature as one of the hallmarks of the Kenyan sporting calendar. As the Government, we appreciate the cordial relationship that we enjoy with the European Tour and we hope to see more of the events hosted here in future.”

She added: “The presence of top golfers from all over the world on Kenyan soil gives our young golfers role models that they can emulate. The Ministry of Sports will continue to work with the Kenya Golf Union to popularise the game of golf among our young people. We remain hopeful that our junior golfers will tap into the experience and inspiration as they follow their golf stars in person here at the Muthaiga Golf Club. We hope that it will translate in one of our young golfers winning the tournament in the near future.”

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