The Kenyan President was present to extend a congratulatory handshake to China’s Ashun Wu after his impressive victory on debut at the Magical Kenyan Open.
Wu came from four shots behind at the start of the final round to win by a similar margin thanks to his closing round 65 for a 16-under-par tally in ideal scoring condition, and at close to 1,900 meters above sea level, on the famed Muthaiga course in Nairobi.
The 36-year-old Wu celebrated not only a first victory on the African continent but also his fourth on the DP World Tour and the sixth of his pro career.
Wu, who also became the first Chinese player to win on the Asian Tour, but wins in the year of the 50th anniversary of the DP World Tour, and to add the records, the recent new dad is the sixth different player from six different nations to taste victory on this year’s 2022 Tour schedule.
He became the third Chinese winner in DP World Tour history when he won the 2015 Volvo China Open and since then he has added wins in Austria and the Netherlands, with this win moving him two victories ahead of countryman Li Haotong.
Waiting to shake the hand of Wu was a gleaming Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, and one of the President’s first questions to Wu was: “Will we see back here in Kenya next year?” Wu’s answer was a resounding ‘Yes’.
Wu’s final round, and despite a 55th hole bogey, was just a dominating display at altitude and playing a game to mirror his experience of having golfed around the globe. After his opening hole mishap, he regrouped to birdie the fourth holes and then muscle his way to the lead on the back of four birdies in succession from the seventh hole, and from there he was never headed. He headed down the last having birdied the 17th despite finding a greenside bunker at the par-5 18th, he got up-and-down for a birdie ‘4’ and won by four shots.
“It’s a very, very good feeling today to win a championship,” said the smiling Wu. “It was very tough today, I played very, very well today and made seven birdies.
“After two rounds I told myself if I can make five-under every day on the weekend and finish 15 under, I think I’ll have a chance to win the tournament.
“Today I was four shots behind and still playing to my plan. Five under was my goal today and after ten holes I had a good feeling and I told myself I’ll keep playing and make a couple of birdies and it’s fine.
“My short game was good today also, I saved a couple of pars, my putting was good to make birdies on the 17th and 18th, I’m happy.”
Sharing second place at 12-under-par was Canadian Aaron Cockerill (67), South African Thriston Lawrence (66) and German Hurly Long (66).
ASHUN WU – WITH HIS MAGICAL KENYA OPEN VICTORY
- Collects his fourth DP World Tour victory in his 158th appearance
- Wins a sixth professional victory, having won twice on the Japan Golf Tour
- His win means he has won DP World Tour events on three continents – Asia (Volvo China Open),
Europe (Lyoness Open) and Africa (Magical Kenya Open presented by Alsa)
- Wins the Magical Kenya Open on debut
- Wu became a father for the first time 13 weeks ago, and his wife and child are present at Muthaiga
- He also becomes the first Chinese player to win Kenya’s national open, and would also be the first Asian
winner of the event
- For his wins at the Volvo China Open and Austrian Open, he also entered the final round in second
- Extends his record as the most successful Chinese player in the history of the Tour, with
four wins – two clear of Li Haotong, Liang Wenchong and Zhang Lianwei have one win each
- His win is the eighth by a Chinese player on the DP World Tour
- Wu’s victory means that is now six winners from six different countries on the 2022 DP World Tour – Thriston Lawrence (South Africa), Thomas Pieters (Belgium), Viktor Hovland (Norway), Nicolai Højgaard (Denmark), Ryan Fox (New Zealand) and Wu Ashun (China)
- Wu jumps to sixth position in the DP World Tour Rankings on 661.47 points, up from 28th
- And is expected to become the new World No. 157 on the Official World Golf Ranking, and up from 342nd
Listen to this week’s Irish Golfer Podcast
Leave a comment