Sunday, 13 March 2005
Daniel Vancsik produced on a display fit for a President when he won the Tusker Kenya Open in devastating style with a closing 63 at Karen Golf Club.

It left the 28 year old from Argentina on eight under par 272, three strokes ahead of Michael Kirk from South Africa and four clear of England’s Sam Walker.

With Mwai Kibaki, the President of Kenya looking on, Vancsik turned on the style with eight birdies and just one bogey. It was in direct contrast to his third round when he dropped five shots in his final four holes to slip down the field with a 75.

"I just lost my concentration and played really badly on that occasion," he said. "As I returned to my hotel I told myself just to forget it. You can still win this tournament."

It left him three strokes off the pace at the start of the final round but after going out in 31 he was soon in front and there was no one within range to make a challenge.

"It was a perfect round," Vancsik added. "The main difference was that I made almost every putt. I feel the key was at the 11th where I missed the green but chipped-in for birdie. That’s when I felt I had the tournament won."

Kirk, the London-based Springbok, came up on the rails with birdies at the 16th and 18th to snatch second spot on 275 with a closing 68, a score matched by Walker for third place.

The 27 year old Englishman would have added to his lengthening list of runners-up spots but a double-bogey five at the short 16th proved costly.

Two more Englishmen, Paul Dwyer and Richard McEvoy, a member of the winning 2001 Walker Cup team, went round in 68 and 69 respectively and shared fourth place on 277 with Sweden‘s Michael Lundberg, who returned a bogey-free 65.

But what of the overnight pacesetters? The Spanish duo of Carlos Quevedo and Carl Suneson had a disappointing day, Quevedo signing for 74 for level par 280 with Suneson a shot better after a 73.

Another to suffer was Ireland’s David Higgins. The 32 year old was seeking to follow in the footsteps of his father Liam, the Kenyan Open champion in 1977, but his effort fell short

Despite starting the final round a shot off the lead, Higgins closed with a disappointing 73 which left him in equal tenth place on 280.

But this was Vancsik’s week and he felt his third Challenge Tour victory was the most important to date. "I have worked so hard at home because I want to gain a European Tour card. This win means I have made a great start to the year."

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