The European Tour has added the Kenya Savannah Classic, its latest golf tournament, to its 2021 International Schedule. The Ksh.152.1 million (€1 million), 72 hole stroke play event will take place from Tuesday 23 March to Friday 26 March at Karen Country Club, in Nairobi.
The tournament will form a double-header with the previously announced Magical Kenya Open, which will be played at the same venue in the week before i.e. Thursday 18 March to Sunday 21 March. Both tournaments will be played under the guidelines of the European Tour’s health strategy, which will be aligned with Kenyan Government directives on COVID-19.
The Kenya Open was first played in 1967 and has been won by some of golf’s most notable names, including Seve Ballesteros (1978), Ian Woosnam (1986), Christy O’Connor Jnr (1990) and Trevor Immelman (2000). It became a European Challenge Tour event in 1991 and then a full European Tour event in 2019, when Italy’s Guido Migliozzi claimed the title by one shot.
The Kenya Savannah Classic will be the 16th new event created by the European Tour since its resumption last July following a three month suspension of tournament golf due to the global COVID-19 health crisis. It also restores the 2021 Race to Dubai to 42 tournaments following the cancellation of the Oman Open.
Keith Pelley, the European Tour’s Chief Executive, said, “The addition of the Kenya Savannah Classic to our 2021 schedule offers vital playing opportunities for our members, while having two consecutive tournaments at Karen Country Club follows our strategy of playing in geographical clusters to reduce travelling as much as possible at the moment. We are therefore grateful to the Kenyan Government, Kenya Open Golf Limited and Karen Country Club for their support, and after the postponement of the Magical Kenya Open in 2020, we look forward to visiting Kenya for two consecutive weeks this March.”
On his part, Peter Kanyago, the Chairman of the Kenya Open Golf, said, “We were disappointed not to be able to play the Magical Kenya Open last year after it became a full European Tour event in 2019, but as we continue to prepare for this year’s tournament, we are now also very pleased to add a second event, the Kenya Savannah Classic. These two consecutive events at Karen Country Club will extend the proud tradition of professional tournament golf in our country, which dates back to the late-1960s, and we look forward to once again showcasing Kenya to an international television audience.”