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The 2023 African Swing - how it unfolded

The 2023 African Swing - how it unfolded

The DP World Tour takes a break this week after a fantastic run of three events in Africa.

Following four African events before the festive period, the Tour returned to the continent for the Magical Kenya Open presented by Absa and the SDC Championship and Jonsson Workwear Open in South Africa.

Here, we take a look at the second African Swing of the season, with one more trip to the continent to come at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in November.

Campillo claims hat-trick victory in Kenya

The event that lists Major Champions, Ryder Cup stars and Rolex Series winners on its roll of honour returned for a fifth edition on the DP World Tour and a stunning weekend saw Jorge Campillo claim his third Tour title. The Spaniard was five shots off the lead after both the first and second rounds but a stunning 63 on Moving Day handed him a one-shot advantage with 18 holes to play. Campillo had finished with four straight birdies on Saturday and a similar run - four in five - on Sunday’s front nine kept him in control of the tournament, the highlight a pitch to five feet at the seventh. Another gain at the tenth was given straight back on the 11th but a succession of pars kept him out in front, with a fine approach to within ten feet at the 16th keeping the run going and helping hold off the challenge of Masahiro Kawamura. A birdie at the 17th handed the Spaniard a three-shot advantage stood on the 18th tee and a par at the last saw him finish two shots ahead of his Japanese rival and lift a trophy won by the late, great Seve Ballesteros in 1978. “Obviously it’s always nice to win a golf tournament but to put my name on the same trophy as Seve is obviously more special for a Spaniard," he said.

Baldwin ends long wait for win

The roller coaster career of Matthew Baldwin hit its highest point so far at St Francis Links as the Englishman claimed his maiden DP World Tour victory in his 200th start. A European Challenge Tour graduate in 2011, he enjoyed an impressive first three seasons on Tour, comfortably keeping his card and qualifying for the DP World Tour Championship in 2014, the same season he claimed his best finish to date of second at the Nelson Mandela Championship presented by ISPS HANDA. He had to shut down his 2015 season in May due to illness and had two operations over the summer before losing his card in 2016. He was back on Tour for the 2018 season after coming through the Qualifying School and would have been back in 2021 via the Challenge Tour but missed out after the categories were frozen due to the Covid-19 pandemic. A 19th-placed finish on last season's Road to Mallorca saw him regain his card and he arrived in South Africa with a best finish of 23rd from eight starts. Opening rounds of 70-67 had him in a good position and when he walked off on Saturday evening with four holes of round three to complete, he was in a share of the lead. Three birdies upon the resumption helped him to a four-shot lead and he never looked like giving it up, closing with a 68 to cruise to a seven-shot victory. "It's been a tough few years, so obviously to get the win means absolutely everything," he said. "I can't process it right now but it just means the world to me."

Bachem breaks through in Johannesburg

Nick Bachem continued his meteoric rise through the ranks by claiming a victory in just his 12th DP World Tour start at The Club at Steyn City. The German revealed he had been taking advantage of the surf on the South African coast during his time in the Rainbow Nation but he was clearly all business inside the ropes as he claimed a four-shot win. A three-time winner on the Pro Golf Tour before turning professional in July 2021, his performance on that circuit earned him a place on the European Challenge Tour in 2022. He secured five top tens in his debut campaign but just missed out on gradation to the DP World Tour, finishing 25th on the Road to Mallorca Rankings. That did not stop him, however, and he claimed the sixth card at the Qualifying School. Since then he had made six cuts in nine starts without claiming a top ten but he led after round two in Johannesburg and was just one shot back heading into Sunday. He then produced his lowest round of the week and joint-lowest of his DP World Tour career, with a bogey-free 64 seeing him ease to victory. "It's just amazing," he said. "I can't understand what's happening the last couple of days, it's just amazing and feels great. I just had the goal to enjoy today, it's just the beginning of my career so I just enjoyed it as much as possible and played great and got lucky that it was my day."

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