By JAMES WAINDI
English man Seve Benson beat Danish Lasse Jensen in a sudden death play-off to win this year’s Kenya open golf Championship at the par 71 Muthaiga Golf Club and pocket Sh3.3 million (30, 400 Euros) and pick his third Challenge Tour in his five-year pro career.
The duo had tied on ten under par 274 after the 18th hole and had to be separated by the sudden death. This was the fourth time the Championship was being decided through sudden death.
Benson, 24, took an iron off the tee and found the right rough of the 18th fairway. Jensen followed suit and landed in a similar position slightly behind Benson’s ball.
Jensen then put his second shot into the bun ker front left of the green while Benson was on the green in two with a 20 ft putt for an eagle. Jensen played out of the sand to a similar distance before missing his birdie as Benson safely putted twice to the title.
Lasse Jensen had the upper hand halfway through the final round of the competition, where he was one shot ahead of Englishmen Benson and Gary Lockerbie and will blame himself for not killing off the game earlier.
He pocketed Sh2.3 million (20,900 Euros).
The 27-year-old was level par through nine holes to stay on eight under after the first nine, while Benson was making progress at two under for his round thanks to three birdies and one bogey in his first nine holes.
Lockerbie, joint overnight leader with Jensen, had a double bogey five at the second hole, but bounced back with a birdie at the third to remain firmly in contention.
Phil Archer, the Challenge Tour’s most recent champion, at the Pacific Rubiales Colombia Classic three weeks ago, was four under through nine holes to surge up the leader board on six under par, two off Jensen’s lead. He eventually finished tied third with South Africa’s Tyrone Ferreira on eight under par 276.
Dane Morten Orum Madsen, who led for the first two rounds and was three shots off the lead at the start of the final round, was struggling at three over par through nine holes and ended up finishing tied 26th on one under par 283. The Challenge Tour rookie had three bogeys, a double bogey and two birdies in the first nine and two more bogeys on the second nine and a birdie to dent his title hopes.
President Kibaki graced the tournament’s closing ceremony and followed the group of overnight leaders Jensen, Lockerbie and Jordan Gribb from the 13th hole to the 18th.