Marc Cayuex of Zimbabwe marked his blistering return to the European Challenge Tour by winning the Kenya Open – but only after a nail biting sudden-death play-off with Sweden’s Leif Westerberg.
Cayeux and Westerberg finished the 72 regulation holes on ten under par 270, after respective fourth round scores of 67 and 66. That meant they had to go to a play-off – and it was settled at the first sudden-death hole.
The short par four 12th was where the Kenya Open was decided, and Cayeux managed to keep his cool to collect the second Challenge Tour title of his career after Westerberg had three putted for a bogey five.
Cayeux’s win was a proud moment for the 26 year old, who won the 2002 Stanbic Zambia Open but then saw his career move in the wrong direction as he struggled with the vagaries of life on the road as a touring professional.
Now he is hoping that his new found maturity and level of performance can propel him through the Challenge Tour ranks and onto the European Tour in 2005.
“I do feel a sense of pride,” he confirmed after collecting his first prize of €17,600. “I said the other day about how tough it had become for me two years ago and it is a really nice feeling to be back on the Challenge Tour.
“I’ll have my category one Membership for the Challenge Tour after this victory, and that gives me a great opportunity to finish in the top 15 on the Rankings.
“This could be a career changing win I suppose. When I think back to just a few days ago, I had no thoughts about playing in the Madeira Island Open, but now I’ll be entered in a full European Tour event, so it has already changed things.
“I was going to go and play in America over the next few months, but not any more – I’m going to give it my best shot on the Challenge Tour because I think the rewards are much better there.”
Northern Ireland’s Michael Hoey got his reward for a solid four round performance at the Karen Golf Club – a third place finish alongside Englishman Paul Dwyer on seven under par.
Overnight leader Titch Moore endured a disappointing final round, a four over 74 taking him back to four under for the tournament after being nine under after two rounds.