Kibaki leads latest Hall of Fame list as Kenya Open turns 50
Kenya’s former president and Patron of the Kenya Golf Union, Mwai Kibaki and former Central Bank of Kenya Governor, Duncan Ndegwa are among 12 individuals who have been inducted into the Kenya Open Golf Limited Hall of Fame for their significant contribution to the sport.
The 12 were honoured on Friday night as the Kenya Open marked its 50th anniversary at the Muthaiga Golf Club and were awarded for their individual and collective efforts through the years that have led to the growth and development of the tournament.
Former Head of State Mwai Kibaki, former Central Bank of Kenya Governor Duncan Ndegwa, former KOGL Chairmen; Ngugi Kiuna, Sam Kamau and Richard Kemoli, current KOGL Chairman Peter Kanyago and long serving KOGL Finance Director Joe Wangai were among those honoured.
Others feted included the former Kenya Open Tournament Directors – InderTalwar and Peter Coombes, Veteran Kenyan amateur golfer and the Kenya Open’s most successful amateur player – David Farrar, former East African Breweries Ltd Chairman Jeremiah Kiereini and veteran golf journalist, Larry Ngala.
The Hall of Fame Award is the highest honour in golf and is given to individuals who have distinguished themselves over a period of time in their service to the sport.
The Kenya Open Golf Championship is this year marking its 50th year since inception in 1967 (and having not been held in 1976 and 2003).
Over the years the tournament has hosted some of the biggest names in Golf. These include Severiano Ballesteros who won in 1978, 1986 winner Ian Woosnam and Vijay Singh who played in the 1989 edition. All went on to hold the title of World number 1 at different times in their careers.
Locally, the tournament has provided a great hunting ground for the amateurs while providing a perfect opportunity for professionals to hone their skills.
Throughout the history of the tournament, a Kenyan has lifted the Silver Salver 26 times, with veteran golfer, David Farrar, winning the title seven times between 1968 and 1990.
Other notable winners include John Mucheru, David Wandua and the Father, Son pair of Ben and Jacob Okello who won in 1983 and 1994, respectively.Kenya’s best chance of winning the overall title of the tournament came in 1998 when Jacob Okello lost to Argentina’s Ricardo Gonzalez in a sudden-death playoff.
Speaking at the anniversary celebrations, Sports Principal Secretary, Kirimi Kaberia congratulated the Kenya Open Gold Limited for the milestone adding that the Government will continue to work together with all stakeholders in the Kenyan golf scene in a bid to enhance the sport in the country.
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