Ugandan pair of Deo Akope and Phillip Kasozi may have missed the cut at the penultimate Safari Tour Series’ leg at Muthaiga Club in Nairobi on Monday but they are in pole position to make it to next month’s Magical Kenya Open.
Akope and Kasozi missed the cut at the par-72 Muthaiga course by three and four shots respectively but they however remain in second and third places for now three available tickets for non-Kenyans for the Kenya Open.
Two-time Uganda Pros Open champion Akope has 99.2 points on the 2020-2021 Series’ charts while Kasozi has managed 92.5 points of which, 70 percent comes from this season’s seven legs. Then, 10 percent is from the 2018-2019 season and 20 percent from the 2019-2020 season.
The Kenya Open became part of the PGA European Tour in 2019 with 10 places (two for non-Kenyans) for East African players from the Safari Tour.
But after a meeting between players and the Kenya Golf Open Limited on Sunday, the slots have been raised to 15.
“We had a meeting with the directors of the Safari Tour regarding players’ representation on the board and we chose the Kenyan captain CJ Wangai,” said Akope via phone from Nairobi.
“Kenya Open slots have been increased. The nationals get 12 increased from eight and internationals three from two. That leaves Kasozi and me in it,” he noted. “This was passed in the meeting from the director Patrick Obath,” he added.
Mathematically, it means that Akope and Kasozi could play at the Kenya Open at the par-71 Karen Country Club from March 18-21.
As it stands, Zimbabwean Robson Chinhoi, who made the cut at Muthaiga, leads the quest for the internationals with 260.6 points and with one Series’ event left at Karen, neither Akope nor Kasozi can reach him since a maximum of 50 points are on offer.
Also, their challenger Rwandan Alloys Nsabimana also missed the cut at Muthaiga and he has 61.6 points.
The Kenya Open was part of Safari Circuit from 1977-1990, then joined the Challenge Tour from 1991-1993 and 1995-2018 before moving to the PGA European Tour in 2019.