Singapore’s Shannon Tan and Italy’s Alessandra Fanali share the lead ahead of the Magical Kenya Ladies Open final showdown on Sunday, February 11, 2024, in Vipingo, Kilifi.
On Saturday, Tan and Fanali posted 6-under par, 67 scores in the third round to share the lead with total scores of 9-under par, 210 heading into the final round on Sunday.
The two who played in the same flight traded ‘jabs’ through the round, with Shannon holding a one-stroke lead through 17 holes before Fanali caught up with her at the par-4 eighteenth, where she holed a birdie for a share of the lead after Shannon held par at the same hole.
Shannon started with two birdies through the first four holes, before she dropped her first shot at the par-4 fifth. She went on to make two more birdies on the front nine to card a score of 34.
On the other hand, Tan was good at the back nine, with back-to-back birdies at the tenth and eleventh, another at the par-4 thirteenth, and she held par through the rest of the holes to card a round of 6-under par.
After the round of action, Tan reflected on how she played.
“I stuck to the game plan except at hole five where I bogeyed. That could have been avoided. Everything else went to plan as I just hit fairways and greens and gave myself chances, and that was it,” Tan said.
Fanali, who returned a spotless scorecard and featured six birdies, four in the front nine and two at the back nine, said she enjoyed the day.
“It was a great day. I mean, this golf course is very tough, and with the wind, it is not easy to handle it. Today was fun; I had great shots – some good putts, a chip-in as well so, everything you could have asked for, so I am pretty happy about it.
“I have been trying all week to be very calm and take it shot-by-shot, and that’s, I think, what is working very well for me – by being in the moment. I am doing a lot of meditation this week; I think that’s why it’s going on like this,” she said.
Italy’s Alessandra Fanali during round three action at the Magical Kenya Ladies Open. PHOTO/Magical Kenya
Both Fanali and Tan hold a five-stroke lead over third-placed Samantha Bruce of the Philippines, who is on 4-under par, 215. Samantha is ahead of a four-way tie for fourth place, featuring Thailand’s Aunchisa Utama, Switzerland’s Chiara Tamburlini, Japan’s Ayako Uehara, and Nataliya Guseva, who are on 3-under par, 216.
The lowest score of the day was posted by 24-year-old Sara Kouskova from the Czech Republic, who carded a round of 66 – the lowest score of the tournament so far – to take her total for the tournament to 2-under par 217.
Her scorecard featured seven birdies, an eagle-three at the seventh, with the only dropped shots coming at the fourth and 16th holes.
With the conclusion of the initial rounds, eyes are now set on the final showdown, with seven strokes between first place and eighth. Fanali and Tan remain clear favourites to grab the 2024 title and the Ksh7.9 million (€45,000) prize money that comes with 500 order of merit points on the Ladies European Tour (LET).
The final round is set to tee off at 8:48 am, with the group of Katja Pogacar, Laura Fuenfstueck, and Vani Kapoor starting off the action. The leaders will tee off at 11:00 a.m. off the first tee.
The winner of this year’s Magical Kenya Ladies Open will take home Ksh 7.9 million (€45,000) of the total prize kitty, which is set at Ksh 52.5 million (€300,000). The winner will also earn 500 order of merit points on the Ladies European Tour (LET).
The second-place finisher will take home Ksh4.7 million (€27,000) and earn 320 order of merit points, assuming there are no ties for the position.
The third-place finisher will bank Ksh3.1 million (€18,000) and earn 230 points. A top-five finish without ties is guaranteed at least Ksh1.8 million in cash earnings, with the fourth-place finisher taking home Ks2.4 million (€13,500) and 180 points, while the fifth-place finisher will get Ksh1.8 million and 145 points.
A tenth-place finish will earn a golfer Ksh1.2 million (€6,900) and 75 order of merit points, while a golfer in 67th will take home Ksh120,000 (€690).