Friday, 19 March 2010
Trevor Immelman, the promising young South African, won the Tusker Kenya Open at a canter in Nairobi. A closing 67, his fourth sub-70 return, gave him a 14-under-par aggregate of 270 and a four-shot victory margin over Sweden's Henrik Stenson.

Third place on 275 went to Gregory Havret of France with a best-of-the-day 66 while another Swede, Mattias Nilsson (73) shared fourth spot on 276 with Gianluca Baruffaldi (69) of Italy.

Immelman and playing partner Stenson, who began the day as joint leaders on 10 under with Nilsson, were soon fighting head-to-head as Nilsson went backwards rapidly.

Stenson edged in front in the early stages but Immelman was soon on terms and one ahead at the turn on 12 under. Another birdie at the long 10th put him two clear and when Stenson ran into three successive bogeys from the 13th, the contest was as good as over.

A birdie-three at 17 not only put Immelman on 14 under but confirmed his victory while Stenson, with 71, had to settle for second spot as he did in the Grand Final, the last event on the 1999 Challenge Tour schedule.

Stefano Soffietti, from Italy, matched Havret's 66 to climb into joint sixth on 277 with Denmark's Morten Backhausen (70), another Swede, Marten Olander (68), and South African Justin Hobday (68).

Best British and Irish finisher was Dubliner Peter Lawrie whose closing 69 earned him joint 10th place on 278, while Immelman's 67 was matched by Yorkshireman James Hepworth and Jose Manuel Lara of Spain, who finished alongside Peter Njiru, the leading Kenyan, on 279.

Immelman, who is the first South African to win the Kenya title in its 33-year history, is one of several promising youngsters emerging from Southern Africa. He enjoyed a glittering amateur career, culminating in his winning the South African title and finishing beaten finalist to Scotland's Craig Watson in the 1997 Amateur Championship at Sandwich. We shall hear more of the 20-year-old from Cape Town.

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