Pros in search of Kenya Golf Open sponsorship

WITH a week left ahead of the KCB Golf Open final round to be staged at the Leisure Lodge Golf club in Mombassa, Rwandan professionals are still searching for sponsorship to be able to compete in the four-day tournament.
Jean Baptiste Hakizimana and Emmanuel Ruterana  (not in picture) are yet to confirm whether they will compete in the KCB Kenya Golf Open. Times Sport / File.
Jean Baptiste Hakizimana and Emmanuel Ruterana (not in picture) are yet to confirm whether they will compete in the KCB Kenya Golf Open. Times Sport / File.

WITH a week left ahead of the KCB Golf Open final round to be staged at the Leisure Lodge Golf club in Mombassa, Rwandan professionals are still searching for sponsorship to be able to compete in the four-day tournament.

Emmanuel Ruterana and Jean Baptiste Hakizimana have already confirmed their participation in the next week’s competition, which attracts the cream of professional golfers from the region and beyond.

Hakizimana, who has been training in South Africa in preparation for the upcoming tourney as well as his much anticipated debut in the Asian Golf tour, returns to the country on Wednesday.

“We are trying our best to get sponsorship to enable us take part in this year’s Kenyan Open,” said Ruterana, who also confirmed that they have contacted some corporate companies but without much success.

He noted that what the pair need most is the money for the return air tickets to Mombasa and competition fees worth $1200 (about Rwf800, 000).

Ruterana, 29, who is training at Kigali golf club in Nyarutarama, said that, if they get sponsorship, they will depart for Mombasa on August 5, three days before the tournament.

The former caddie, who will be making his fourth consecutive appearance, made his debut in the international golf tournament in 2010 when he finished 14th and the next year, improved to ninth.

Last year, Ruterana finished fourth behind Kenyan Nicholas Rokoine to pocket Rwf1.2 million in cash prize.

Meanwhile, Hakizimana will be using the KCB Open to prepare for the Asian Golf Tour set for September to November.

This year’s KCB Open tees off on August 7 at the par 72 Leisure Lodge with over 30 professionals from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania.  KCB is made up of up to six events for the season and the one in Mombasa will be the last. Kenya’s Dismas Indiza has already won three of the five events and his latest came in Eldoret two weeks ago.

So far only one Ugandan golfer, Deo Akope has confirmed to travel to Mombasa for the tournament.

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