June 17, 2024

Tan 19 Clinches Magical Kenya Ladies 2024 Golf Title

Shannon Tan from Singapore posing for a photo at the Vipingo Baobab Ridge Golf Club in Kilifi County of Kenya over the weekend. (Photo/ Courtesy)

By Mwakwaya Raymond

Email, thecoastnewspaper@gmail.com

Shannon Tan from Singapore scoops the overall trophy at the Vipingo Baobab Ridge Golf Club in Kilifi County of Kenya.

The Italy’s Fanali and Belgium’s Roey takes second and third slots respectively as curtains fell at the four days LET tour event.

Tan, a Singaporean, was crowned the 2024 Magical Kenya Ladies Open Championship at the climax of the Par 73 Vipingo Baobab Ridge Golf course on Sunday evening.

The 19-year-old girl who turned professional just a year ago, recorded a combined score of under 12 for total of 288 gross from the four rounds event to be declared the overall winner of the season opener for the Ladies European Tour (LET) staged in Kenya for the fourth time.

Starting the tourney on Thursday with 73 gross, Tan had a 70 gross in the second day on Friday, brought an excellent 67 gross in the third round on Saturday and closed the final fourth round on 70 gross thus, taking the overall lead.

The teenager had a hot start to her final round, holing three birdies in the first five holes before dropping a shot at the par-five sixth, but immediately recovered that shot in the par-5 seventh with a birdie, before dropping another short at the par-3 eighth to card a total of 35 on the first nine while playing a bogey-free on the back nine, holing a birdie at the par-5, 11th hole for a total of 35 gross.

She was awarded the Magical Kenya Open trophy modeled in a shape of a Giraffe where her name would be inscribed as the fourth Champion after German’s two times winner Esther Heinselet and India’s Adit Ashoki.

Apart from this, she was also awarded Ksh7.9 million (€45,000) and earned 500 LET order of merit points to qualify foe playing at the next week’s prestigious Aramco Saudi Ladies International in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia presented by PIF whose prize kitty is Ksh812 million (USD 5 million).

Tan now becomes the first professional lady from her country to win the Ladies European Tour (LET) saying she was happy to be in Kenya and playing in such a beautiful course within wildlife such as giraffes, thus giving her an experience to behold forever.

“It was close until hole 16 where it was like a one-shot difference, but I stuck to my own game plan just trying to hit every fairway and every green I can. I would say I am proud.”

According to her juniors back home, Singapore, now knew that it was possible for them to win titles irrespective of age, but sheer determination and hardwork.

“I guess it will kind of push them a little bit and inspire them. I will I go into every event with the same mindset and target just trying to do my best and control what can be controlled so, I will just try and stick to my game plan throughout the whole season.”

Italian Alessandra Fanali was the runners up on a round total of 284 gross from a 70,73,67, and 74 gross and went home with Ksh4.7 million (€27,000) claiming 320 order of merit points.

There was a five-way share for third position featuring Manon De Roey (Belgium), Ana Pelaez Trivino (Spain), Alice Hewson (England), Chiara Tamburlini (Switzerland) and Nataliya Guseva all who ended their challenge with scores of a 4-under par 288 gross each.

The main 2024 Magical Kenya Ladies Open teed-off on Thursday and brought together 108 golfers among them five Kenyan amateurs and drawing golfers from 36 nationalities.

The event started last Wednesday with a Pro-Am brought together 108 world leading lady Golfers from 40 countries unfortunately, the five Kenyan amateurs failed to make the cut on Friday after two rounds.

Kenya’s Naomi Wafula, Jacquelyne Walter, Kellie Gachaga, Chanelle Wangari and Mercy Nyanchama failed to make the mark cut line at 6-over par, 152 gross, with a total of 67 players that battled on Sunday for a share of the tournament’s Ksh51,900,000 (Euros 300,000) prize money out of which the overall winner was awarded Ksh7.9 million (€45,000).

The wildlife infusion in the tournament event left the majority of the golfers and fans with memorabilia of the course that featured several varieties of animals roaming freely around the Vipingo Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary whose numbers has risen to 195 animals up from 151 in 2023.

The wildlife that graced the occasion included oryx, elands, waterbucks, impalas, grants gazelles, bebras, giraffes, bushbucks, lesser kudus, wildebeests and hartebeests.

The event kicked off with Pro-Am on Wednesday as a curtain raiser that was won on a score of 32-under by the group of Swedish professional Lisa Pettersson and England’s Gabriella Cowley who teamed up with local golfers Naeem Pasta, Vimar Ranpura, and Karan Khagramat.

During the Day One on Thursday, the main event saw England’s Eleanor Givens, South Africa’s Cara Gorlei, and Ireland’s Lauren Walsh share the lead after posting a 4 under par 69 gross.

The South Africa’s Cara Gorlei was the Day Two leader on Friday after carding a 1-under par 72gross for a total of 5-under par 141 gross.

Singapore’s Tan and Italy’s Fanali posted 6-under par 67 gross scores to share the Day Three lead on Saturday with total sores of 9-under par, 210 leading into the final round on Sunday.

The event was organized by U.Com and Vipingo ridge and jointly sponsored by among others Ministry of Youth Affairs, Creative Economy and Sports, Talanta Hela, Huawi, Mpesa, Kilifi County Government, Johnnie Walker, ABSA, Vipingo Ridge and LET.

The event was broadcast live’ globally across 100 countries and to 350 million homes continuously with its history placing Kenya on the global map since its inception in 2019.

LET season for 2024 has 31 events in 20 countries with a total purse of about Euros 34 million.

Its next calendar action now moves to next week’s prestigious Aramco Saudi Ladies International in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia presented by PIF whose prize kitty is Ksh812 million (USD 5 million).

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