Once more, Kenyan golfers' outing in the annual Magical Kenya Open (MKO) tournament did not go according to plan.
In the event that ended on Sunday evening, at Muthaiga Golf Club, foreigners came, saw and conquered the well-manicured lawns.
Spanish player Jorge Campillo emerged the best amongst the 156 players who descended on the tough course in search of honours in the Race To Dubai Finale event.
Inspired by the late golf legend and fellow countryman Seve Ballesteros, who triumphed in Kenya in 1978, Campillo fired a five-under-par final round of 66 on Sunday, which propelled him to an 18 under for the week, earning him a two-stroke victory over Japan’s Masahiro Kawamura, who finished second.
Campillo became the fourth Spanish winner of the MKO after Ballesteros (1978), José María Cañizares and Jordi Garcia Pinto in 1984 and 2013 respectively.
“It’s hard to put my name under those names. Where I am from, the little town, I am very proud,” he said after the victory.
“Obviously it’s always nice to win a golf tournament but to put my name on the same trophy as Seve is obviously more special for a Spaniard."
“We will (celebrate) when I get back. I will try and enjoy the moment now, sign the scorecard and just get ready for the next tournament."
“You know how golf is, you win now and then the next day you are not that good.”
“It’s always nice to win and be able to believe it all the round and close it off. It’s always a nice feeling."
“The crowds were quite fun here and you know the history of the tournament is quite nice as well."
“I played great all day, beside that little short putt I missed on 11. It was a good day, after missing that putt I knew I had to play well to win the golf tournament with some tough holes coming up and that birdie on 17, obviously I didn’t win with that birdie but I was definitely closer."
“I remember coming here on the Challenge Tour, my second Challenge Tour event in 2011, I played on this golf course. I never dreamed I would come back here and win my third golf tournament on the DP World Tour, it’s such a nice feeling,” Campillo added.
While Campillo is basking in glory after walking away with a cool Sh43 million from Muthaiga, local golfers should go back to the drawing board and find out what’s ailing their game as only one player out of the 15 made the cut in the European Tour event on day two.
Mutahi Kibugu was the only surviving Kenyan golfer in the event, finishing in 65th place on one under par 283.
Last year, his brother Njoroge was the only local player who survived the axe to proceed to the money bracket.
“I just have one word to describe this event; surreal,” Kibugu said. “All the attention I got, all the support I got was just amazing. I can’t thank everyone enough for what they’ve done this week.
“I’m pretty pleased with how I played over the four days. I didn’t have my best stuff in the last three rounds; round two and three I managed to put together a score. Today (Sunday) I just let it go early on the back nine. But I finished strong, have my chin up and I’m pleased with my performance," he said.
“I’m going to take all the positives out of this week, head back down to South Africa, try to pre-qualify for some events."
“I’ll definitely try and play more and more games while there, I’m getting the rhythm and I’m heading in the right direction. I’ll just play more tournaments and keep going,” Kibugu added.