10 interesting facts and figures from Magical Kenya Open and Kenya Savannah Classic

  • March 29, 2021
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Justin Harding made the highest amount of money from the Magical Kenya Open and Savannah Classic events taking home a total of Kshs 20.5 million for his eight days of work at Karen Country Club. After winning the Magical Kenya Open, he finished T14 five days later. David Wakhu was Kenya’s highest earner taking home Kshs 453,000 after finishing in a respectable position 57 at the Kenya Savannah Classic tournament. Samuel Njoroge pocketed Kshs 292,000 after finishing in position 77 at Magical Kenya Open.

South Africa’s Jacques Kruyswijk was the most consistent player in the two European Tour events at Karen. The 28 year old finished tied fifth in both events after carding -18 and -15 at the Kenya Savannah Classic and Magical Kenya Open respectively. He went home Kshs 8.5 million richer.

Jacques Kruyswijk with his Caddy

In a strange tale of coincidence, England’s Sam Horsfield and Scotland’s Calum Hill played identical scores at both tournaments to finish tied third at the Kenya Savannah Classic and tied eighth at the Magical Kenya Open. They carded -14 in the opening tournament and proceeded to shoot an identical -20 in the second event to earn Kshs 8.8 million each.

The winner and runner up of the Kenya Savannah Classic had failed to make the cut at Magical Kenya Open. South African Daniel Van Tonder and Thai Jazz Janewattananond only managed to shoot an identical one under par to finish T78. The following week, they shot -21 gross at the Kenya Savannah Classic before being separated in a sudden death playoff.

The Magical Kenya Open runner up Kurt Kitayama of USA and second runner up Syme Connor of Scotland failed to make the cut at the Kenya Savannah Classic. Both shot level par for an early exit, a stark contrast to the magnificent -19 and -17 they had posted in the opening tournament.

Justin Harding rose 74 places up the World Golf Ranking to 121st following his superb performance at the two events. His ranking prior to the Kenya double-header was 195th .  He now has two European Tour victories in 99 appearances. His maiden win came at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters in 2019 and his second at the Magical Kenya Open. He is currently ranked 17th in the “Race to Dubai” series.

Van Tonder

The win by Daniel Van Tonder was the seventh by a South African in Kenya on both the Challenge Tour and European Tour. Van Tonder became the fifth South African in the last ten years to win the event. Three South Africans finished in the top 10 at Magical Kenya Open 2021 and the inaugural Kenya Savanna Classic.

Van Tonder’s win was his first European Tour victory in 49 appearances. He rose to a high 73rd position on the Official World Golf Ranking, up from 140th. Van Tonder had never won at Karen in six previous attempts at the Kenya Open Challenge Tour events. His best performance had been a T5 finish in 2014. He finished T12 in 2015, T29 in 2017 and T78 at the Magical Kenya Open 2021.

The lowest score posted at the two tournaments was 62 by Johannes Veerman during the third round of Magical Kenya Open when the United States of America golfer produced a bogey free round of nine birdies. The highest score was posted by South African Zander Lombard who carded 82 in the opening round of Magical Kenya Open before he retired prematurely.

Six of the foreign pros who played at Karen are currently ranked in the top 100 World Golf Ranking charts. They are Savannah Classic Champion Daniel Van Tonder 73, George Coetzee 82, Aaron Rai 83, Sam Horsfield 86, Jazz Janewattananond 93 and Kurt Kitayama 95. The highest ranked Kenyan is Greg Snow who is currently in position 1559.

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