Esther Henseleit retained her Magical Kenya Ladies Open title following a dramatic comeback in the 4th and final round at the Vipingo Ridge in Kilifi.
The Germany fired two under par 70 in the final round today to defend her title with a 2-under par after trailing Sweden’s Linnea Strom for the last three days of action.
She carded a round of 33 in the first nine and 37 in the second to finish the day with a total of 70, adding to her 74, 73 and 69 rounds in the first three rounds respectively to finish with 286.
Henseleit, who won the inaugural Magical Kenya Ladies Open tournament in 2019, takes home Kshs 5.8 million for her efforts.
The tournament was the season opener for the 2022 Ladies European Tour, with a total prize purse of €300,000 (Approximately KES 38 million).
Speaking following her win, Henseleit said:
“At the first, I just put my drive a little bit left and was blocked to the green. I hit a good shot into the green but couldn’t make a par putt. Then I played pretty well and holed some good long putts and kept it together. In the end, it was a bit of a struggle, but I made it, and I am pretty proud of my last few holes. I have been struggling with the putter a lot over the last one and a half. Years so it’s pretty cool that held the last one.”
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, who graced the event’s final day, noted the tournament plays a crucial role in developing golf in the country.
“It is an honour for Kenya to be hosting this prestigious Ladies Open after a two-year interruption following the Covid-19 Pandemic. We are proud that in 2020, Kenya was voted as the best golf destination in Africa at the World Golf Awards. This tournament, therefore, is another indication of Kenya’s diligence and commitment to hosting world-class sporting events,” she said.
On her part, Sports Cabinet Secretary Amb. Amina Mohammed hinted at considerations to increase the tournament’s prize money to raise its profile on the global scene.
“I urge all sponsors of this tournament to up this figure because it is essential that we appreciate the international golfers who come to play here. As the government and title sponsors of the tournament, we shall continue to support this tournament and pledge also to increase our money for this event,” said Amina.