Darius Van Driel, first career victory in Kenya

Darius Van Driel clinches his first career victory on the DP World Tour

by Andrea Gussoni
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Darius Van Driel, first career victory in Kenya
© Getty Images Sport - Stuart Franklin / Staff

Darius Van Driel clinches his first career victory on the DP World Tour. In Nairobi, the Dutchman secured the Magical Kenya Open with a total of 270 (66 69 68 67, -14) strokes. The 34-year-old from Leidschendam led wire-to-wire, maintaining his position at the top from the first to the final round.

It was a solid finish for Italy's Lorenzo Scalise, who narrowly missed the Top 10, finishing 11th with a score of 276 (68 68 72 68, -8) strokes. Scalise, the top Italian performer, started the tournament strong, holding the 8th position after the opening round.

Despite slipping to 15th place midway through the competition, notably due to one round above par 72 (+1), he regained ground in the last 18 holes, especially with four birdies (totaling six birdies and three bogeys). However, Torinese golfer Edoardo Molinari could not surpass 56th place, finishing with 282 (71 68 72 71, -2) strokes.

Van Driel, results

At the Muthaiga Golf Club (par 71), Van Driel secured his victory with a final round of 67 (-4), marked by an eagle and three birdies, with one bogey. He surpassed Spanish Nacho Elivra and Englishman Joe Dean, who tied for 2nd place with 272 (-12).

Spanish golfers Adrian Otaegui and Manuel Elvira, along with British golfer Matthew Jordan, finished fourth with 273 (-11). Scotsmen Connor Syme and Ewen Ferguson claimed 7th place with 274 (-10) strokes. Van Driel's achievement earned him $425,000 from the total prize purse of $2,500,000.

This victory marks his first triumph on the premier continental men's circuit since his win in 2015 on the Alps Tour (Open International de Marcilly) and his back-to-back victories in 2018 (Euram Bank Open) and 2019 (Rolex Trophy) on the Challenge Tour.

The DP World Tour is now set to move to South Africa for two consecutive events, the SDS Championship (February 29th - March 3rd in Eastern Cape) and the Jonsson Workwear Open (March 7th - 10th in Edenvale). From the low, sandy coastline of the Indian Ocean, Kenya's terrain extends inland, showcasing a rather complex geography.

Situated in East Africa and traversed by the equator, Kenya exhibits a wide range of climates despite its equatorial and tropical location. In the north, desert areas prevail, while central and southern regions feature plateaus adorned with forests and savannas.

The nation is traversed by lengthy mountain ranges, with the most prominent geographical feature being the Rift Valley, which runs from north to south, dividing the country. Inland waters consist of freshwater and saline lakes, alongside numerous borax springs and geysers.

Rivers are scarce, with only two notable ones in terms of flow and length (the Tana and the Galana). Following the coastal strip, which spans over 400 km, lies a region of arid and steppe plateaus. The central plateau, rising between 1,500 and 3,000 meters, is separated by the Rift Valley's fracture, forming the basin of Lake Turkana (or Lake Rudolf).

Towering volcanic massifs line the Rift Valley, with the most prominent being Mount Kenya (5,199 m), one of Africa's tallest peaks, and Mount Kilimanjaro (5,895 m) on the border with Tanzania. The plateau slopes westward towards Lake Victoria and northward, where the terrain transitions into a vast desert plateau.

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