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Pictures: Harding pockets Sh20m as Kenya Open comes to an end at Karen Golf and Country Club

GOLF By Stafford Ondego | March 22nd 2021 | 5 min read
President Uhuru Kenyatta awards the Magical Kenya Open 2021 winner Justin Harding after the conclusion of the Tournament at the Karen Country Club in Nairobi on March 21, 2021. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

South Africa's Justin Harding produced a flawless final round of five-under-par 66 at the Kenya Open on Sunday to seal a two-shot victory over Kurt Kitayama and his second European Tour title.

Technicians fix cables for live viewing of the Magical Kenya Open Tournament at the Karen Country Club on March 21, 2021. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

Overnight leader Harding, whose maiden tour win came two years ago at the Qatar Masters, maintained his composure amid a steady challenge from American Kitayama to finish on 21 under par at the Karen Country Club in Nairobi.

Richie Ramsay of Scotland follows his tee during the Magical Kenya Open Tournament at the Karen Country Club on March 20, 2021. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

Kitayama made two eagles and two birdies as he threatened to catch Harding by reducing his lead to one shot, but a bogey on the 11th meant he fell short.

A bunker at hole Nine during the Magical Kenya Open Tournament at the Karen Country Club on March 19, 2021. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

Scotland's Connor Syme finished with a 64 to secure third place ahead of Spaniard Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez.

Jacob Okello from Kenya checking his card during the Magical Kenya Open Tournament at the Karen Country Club on March 19, 2021. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

At the same time, Kenya’s Samuel Njoroge (72,68,74,70) finished 77th overall after ending the championship on level par after the four rounds.

 
Local golfer Samuel Njoroge reacts during the Magical Kenya Open Tournament at the Karen Country Club on March 21, 2021. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

Railway Golf Club’s player Samuel Njoroge is the only Kenyan, who made the cut at the 2021 Magical Kenya Open that concluded at the par 71 Karen Golf and Country Club.

Local Golfer Simon Ngige takes a puff before teeing off during the Magical Kenya Open Tournament at the Karen Country Club on March 19, 2021. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

The 27-year-old fired three under par 68 to proceed to the money bracket on total two rounds of two under par 140.

Golfers compete in the background as leader board indicates the winner during the Magical Kenya Open Tournament at the Karen Country Club on March 20, 2021. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

By making the cut, Njoroge is already assured of Sh100,000 pledged to the Kenyan team by the Kenya Breweries Limited.

Greg Snow of Kenya Kenya lines a putt during the Magical Kenya Open Tournament at the Karen Country Club on March 19, 2021. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

Kenya Vision 2030 also announced Sh50,000 prize for the local player who will proceed to the money bracket.

“We will also reward the highest finishing local player at the event with Sh250,000 while the second and third place finisher will get Sh200,000 and Sh150,000 respectively,” Kenneth Mwige, Vision 2030 Director General, told the players during the contest.

Golfers practice for the 2021 Kenya open with the Kenya Vision 2030 Director General Kenneth Mwige at Golf Park Nairobi. [Standard Sports]

Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed and Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala, who visited the venue, were pleased with the number of international players that have turned up for the two European events, including Kenya Savannah Classic that starts tomorrow at the venue.

President Uhuru Kenyatta chat with Tourism CS Najib Balala (Centre) and his Sports counterpart Amina Mohamed (Left) after the conclusion of the Magical Kenya Open 2021 Tournament at the Karen Country Club in Nairobi on March 21, 2021. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

“This is a testimony that protocols put in place by the government for the continuation of Sports after Covid-19, are working,” said Amina.

Raphael Jacqueline of France lines a putt during the Magical Kenya Open Tournament at the Karen Country Club on March 20, 2021. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

“I can assure you that the protocols are working because of the large number of players from 30 countries. The countries have entrusted their golfers to come to Kenya, which shows there’s is now total belief that Sports Tourism is open in the country.”

Golfers compete in the background as leader board indicates the winner during the Magical Kenya Open Tournament at the Karen Country Club on March 20, 2021. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

Amina assured that all big sporting events that have been lined up by the state will be held.

Tyler Koivisto from USA and his caddie takes a photo courtesy of a match official during the Magical Kenya Open Tournament at the Karen Country Club on March 19, 2021. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

On his part, Balala added that the events provide better opportunity to showcase Kenya to the outside world and assured everyone that Kenya is a safe place to be for Sports Tourism.

Golfers practice for the 2021 Kenya open with the Kenya Vision 2030 Director General Kenneth Mwige at Golf Park Nairobi. [Standard Sports]

Meanwhile, all players at the Kenya Open re-entered the bubble where they were issued with new accreditation for the Kenya Savannah Classic that tees off at the venue tomorrow.

Greg Snow during training when Kenya Vision 2030 supported golfers who will represent the country at the Forthcoming 2021 Magical Kenya Tournament at Golf Park Ngong Racecourse on March 11, 2021. Each player received Ks 50, 000 for qualifying for European Tour event and were promised Ks 50,000 for players who will make the cut during the Tournament and another Ks 250, 000 for a local golfer who will finish top. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

Kenya Open Golf Limited (KOGL) chairman Peter Kanyago praised the course saying it’s in perfect condition ahead of the Savannah Classic.

A marshall stops a golfer from teeing off during the Magical Kenya Open Tournament at the Karen Country Club on March 21, 2021. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

“I want to thank the government for supporting local pros through the Safari Tour series ahead of the European Tour events,” said Kanyago.

Local Golfer Simon Ngige adjust his trouser as his caddie looks on before teeing off during the Magical Kenya Open Tournament at the Karen Country Club on March 19, 2021. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]
Vision 2030 Director General Kenneth Mwige and other officials watch action during the Magical Kenya Open Tournament at the Karen Country Club on March 19, 2021. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]
Local Golfer Isaac Magokha with the golf pack presented to him by President Uhuru Kenyatta after the conclusion of the Magical kenya Tournament at the Karen Country Club in Nairobi on March 21, 2021. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]
Aaron Cockerill of Canada hands over a golf club to his caddie during the Magical Kenya Open Tournament at the Karen Country Club on March 21, 2021. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

 

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