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President Kenyatta urges Kenya Open winners to spend part of Sh109 prize money in Kenya

President Uhuru Kenyatta, ODM Leader Raila Odinga (far Right) and Golf officials during Magical Kenya Open at Muthaiga Golf Club. March 6, 2022. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

President Uhuru Kenyatta has challenged the winners of the 53rd edition of the Magical Kenya Open Golf Championship to spend part of their earnings in Kenya.

Speaking at Muthaiga Golf Club on the final day of the European Tour event, President Uhuru urged the event's foreign winners, who walked away with a combined Sh109 million cash prize, to sample Kenya's rich heritage by visiting various tourism destinations.

"I urge the winners to spend part of the prize money in Kenya to experience our rich tourism heritage,” said President Uhuru.

Two time Japan Golf Tour winner, Chinese national Wu Ashun, who was was caddied by Kenyan Victor Navilegwa, took home Sh37 million after winning the overall title.

Hurley Long of Germany, South Africa's Thriston Lawrence and Aaron Cockerill (Canada) pocketed a combined Sh72 million after tying for the second spot. The three posted 12 under par 279.

Kenya's top-ranked golfer at the tournament, Njoroge Kibugu, finished in the 64th place after carding six over par 77 for four rounds of two over par 286.

China's Ashun Wu with his trophy after winning the overall Magical Kenya Open title at Muthaiga Golf Club on Sunday, March 6, 2022. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

President Kenyatta, however, pledged to support Njoroge as he transitions from junior to senior levels.

"The government will sponsor Njoroge Kibugu to attend Belgium Open on May 12-15,” said Uhuru, adding: "The state will also sponsor his transition to professional golf by paying his trainers and issuing him with playing kits."

Ashun fired a four-stroke lead on his debut to become the first Asian to lift the prestigious title, his fourth DP World Tour victory in 158 appearances.

The 36-year-old, who became a father 13 weeks ago, fired six-under-par 65 on the final day for a total of four rounds of 16 under par 268 to carry the day at par 71 on Sunday.

The win extended his record as the most successful Chinese player in the history of the Tour, with four wins – two clear of Li Haotong, Liang Wenchong and Zhang Lianwei who have one win each.

He was awarded the prestigious trophy and the Sh37 million prize by President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

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