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Spaniard Jorge Campillo crowned Magical Kenya Open champion

Golf
 Jorge Campillo from Spain celebrates winning the Magical Kenya Open on the final day of the event.[Stafford Ondego,Standard]

Jorge Campillo of Spain is the winner of the 2023 Magical Kenya Open (MKO) that ended at par 71 Muthaiga Golf Club in Nairobi on Sunday.

The Real Madrid FC die-hard fan closed the day on a five under par 66 to lift the global showpiece on its 54th edition on a total four rounds of 18 under par 266 which earned him 460 points in the race to the Dubai finale.

On his last stretch yesterday, the 5 foot 10 inch Spaniard collected six birdies in the par five fourth, par four sixth, par five seventh and par four eighth in the front nine. He posted a similar score in the par five tenth and par four seventh in the back nine.

Campillo was handed the trophy by the Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi for the feat, with Sh43 million prize money to boot.

"Muthaiga is a tricky course, but full of thrills and fun. I feel good to win, it's always good to win a high profile tournament like this," he told Standard Sports.

"I played beautifully on Saturday, raking an eight under on the day is what inspired me to go for the trophy today.

"It is good to start the season on a high, I'm now definitely motivated to go for more international cups this year."

 Jorge Campillo from Spain celebrates winning the Magical Kenya Open on the final day of the event.[Stafford Ondego,Standard]

Born in Caceres, Spain, some 36 years ago, Campillo's game was inspired by golfing legend and former world number one Seve Ballesteros who was his childhood hero.

Ever since, Campillo has been attached to his home town golf club of Norba Club de Golf de Caceres.

Apart from playing golf, Campillo also loves basketball, travelling and watching La Liga giants Real Madrid play.

He sealed a long-awaited first European Tour victory at the 2019 Trophee Hassan II in his 229th career start, following three separate podium finishes earlier in the season.

After that, he did not have to wait long for his second triumph as, just less than a year later, he emerged victorious from a dramatic play-off duel with David Drysdale to lift the 2020 Commercial Bank Qatar Masters title.

 Jorge Campillo from Spain celebrates victory during the Magical Kenya Open final day of the event.[Stafford Ondego,Standard]

As a student at Indiana University, he won the Big Ten "triple crown" in 2008. The same season, he was named the Big Ten Golfer of the Year.

He also won the Les Bolstad Award; a Big Ten Championship in 2008 which was played in the Palmer Cup three times.

The same 2008 he won the Spanish Amateur Closed Championship and was ranked as Spain's number one amateur for six separate years.

At the same time, Kawamura Masahiro of Japan who tried to give Campillo a run for his money on the last day ended in second place on 16 under par 268. He pocketed Sh28 million of the Sh252 million purse prize that was shared by the 79 golfers who made the cut on Friday.

Third place was shared by Santiago Tarrio of Spain and Ryo Hisatsune of Japan who fired 15 under par 269 apiece which saw each of them go home Sh14 million richer.

 Kenya's Mutahi Kibugu during Magical Kenya open. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Kenya's sole surviving golfer Mutahi Kibugu finished 65th on one under par 283 to walk away with Sh531,000.

Kibugu will also be awarded Sh1 million by Absa Bank Kenya for being the only local golfer who made the cut in the European Tour event.

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