Sports

Henseleit out to defend Magical Kenya Ladies Open 

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 3 – After having a taste of the prestigious Magical Kenya Ladies Open victory, German Esther Henseleit will be out to retain the title in the event slated to tee-off February 10-13 at the Vipingo Ridge course.

Henseleit won the title in 2019 and by virtue of that she has been invited in the Order of Merit winners’ category alongside South African lady star Lee-Ann Pace.

Hensleit, who turned 23 on January 14, earned her maiden LET win at the 2019 Magical Kenya Ladies Open in Vipingo where she won both LET Order of Merit and LET Rookie of the Year awards thus becoming only the third player after Laura Davies in 1985 and Carlota Ciganda in 2012 to manage this feat.

She will be among the players to watch in Vipingo Ridge which is incidentally Africa’s only PGA-accredited golf course.

Henseleit turned professional in January 2019 (with an EGA handicap of +7.1) after finishing third at Qualifying School for the 2019 Ladies European Tour. She won the Skaftö Open on the LET Access Series and qualified for the 2019 U.S. Women’s Open at a sectional qualifying tournament.

Pace, on the other hand, is regarded.one of the best players on Tour having made her breakthrough in 2010 with five wins at the Deutsche Bank Ladies Swiss Open, the S4C Wales Ladies Championship of Europe, the Finnair Masters, the Sanya Ladies Open, and the Suzhou Taihu Ladies Open. She ended the season at the top of the Order of Merit and won the LET Player of the Year.

Tiger Woods’ niece Cheyenne in action during the Magical Kenya Ladies Open Pro-Am event at the Vipingo Ridge on December 4, 2019

Meanwhile, the Kenya team for the LET Magical Kenya Open will comprise of four amateurs and one professional.

Naomi Wafula and Mercy Nyamchama will lead the charge for the amateurs alongside 14-year-old Chanelle Wangari of Vet Lab Sport Club and Faith Chemtai of Nandi Bears Club.

Nyali lady professional Bhavi Shah who played in the 2019 event hopes to make amends after failing to make the cut last time round. 

Oganisers U.COM Event and Vipingo Ridge have promised another spectacular tournament, which is the only women’s professional golf competition in the East African region. 

Bhavi Shah follows her tee during the Magical Kenya Ladies Open in 2019 played at Vipingo Ridge, Kilifi County

First held at the end of 2019, the tournament features golfers from many different nationalities who battle it out for the prestigious title.  

Vipingo Ridge Chairman Alastair Cavenagh said that the government through the Sports Arts and Development Fund in conjunction with the Ministry of Sports had once again generously stepped up to support the event through provision of the prize fund for the event.

Entries for the event are oversubscribed with LET having already made a projected cut off of 96 players.

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