Singaporean golfer Shannon Tan has been crowned 2024 Magical Kenya Ladies Open champion at the PGA Baobab Vipingo Ridge golf course on Sunday to pocket Ksh 7.7 million (Euro 45,000).
Tan, who won the tournament on her Ladies European Tour (LET) debut, carded a final round of 3 under par 70 to take her total score for the tournament to 12 under par 280.
Italian Alessandra Fanali scored 8 under par 284 to settle for second and walk home with Ksh 4.6 million (Euro 27,000) while Manon De Roey from Belgium completed the podium finish on 4 under par 288, getting Ksh 2 million prize money.
Commenting on her decision to turn pro golfer just before this event, she said, “It was a tough decision to begin with, but I am now happy I made the decision. I would say I am proud to become the first Singaporean to win the tournament, juniors back home now know that it is possible and I guess it will kind of push them a little bit and inspire them.”
Tan will now be heading to Saudi Arabia for the second leg of the European tour and she will be hoping to carry on the momentum.
“I will I go into every event with the same mindset and target; just trying to do my best and control what can be controlled; so, I will just try and stick to my game plan throughout the whole season.”
Cabinet Secretary for Youth, Economic Empowerment and Sports, Ababu Namwamba challenged the leadership of the Kenya Golf Union and Kenya Ladies Golf Union to ensure the tournament remains in Kenya.
Ababu vowed that the government will be keen on increasing the purse next year.
“The gender pay gap is still a huge challenge in sports. The disparity in prize money is hugely significant. We look forward to raising this money from 300,000 Euros in future. The leadership of golf I urge you to make sure this event becomes a key core and a permanent feature of our sporting calendar, the government will support you fully,” Ababu said.
On his part Mudavadi said the government is planning to grow sports in Kenya by reducing taxes on equipment.
“Sports is now becoming an industry and as we go forward we have to think of critical issues that can make sports equipment accessible both from the policy and legislative point and one of the point that we will consider seriously is the tax structure of sports equipment to make sports available and at an affordable price to all participants,” Mudavadi said.