Kenya Golf Guide

South Africa’s Justin Harding (left) receives the winner’s prize from President Uhuru Kenyatta at Karen Club on Sunday.


South African, Justin Harding played a composed round of golf on Sunday to return a score of five-under par 66 and a round total of 21 under par 263 to claim victory at the Kenya Open Golf Championships held at Karen Country Club.

Here is the verbatim speech he gave after winning the title:

I’m very happy to have got over the line. I wouldn’t say I was in a slump but I was in a dip in form in terms of mixed results and it was nice to get over the line this time around. Winning isn’t everything but I think being in the winner’s circle again means a little more to me than I thought it did.

I think I got blown off the golf course like everyone else in Qatar. It was nice to come back to a place that I have nice fond memories of. I know Guido beat me by a shot here a couple of years ago and I felt like I played the golf course well and it is set up nicely for me. I’ve been saying to the guys all week that I think it is one of the fairest golf courses in terms of to the field that the European Tour plays all year. It’s just a fun golf course; you can make a bunch of birdies, you can make bunch of eagles and you can throw in some bogeys there as well. It’s just lovely to play.

I think I’ve always had a good record as a front-runner and I think just putting myself in a position and ultimately just trying to get the job done. I tried to use visualisation methods this week. It’s just a matter of a change in attitude. I was trying to be a little bit more relaxed and not put as much pressure on myself. I was using more visualisation techniques and trying to play with a little bit more feel. I wouldn’t say I haven’t been using it in the last little while but probably less than I was in this week. Ultimately, I was just happy with the way I executed my shots down the line and I was pleased to get the W.

I would have been happy to just finish 20 under to be honest, one shot better than the next guy. It’s well-chronicled that I don’t quite like the 13th, I think it gave me a little headache in 2019. I was just happy with the way I managed it. It was an added bonus hitting it close on nine and getting a four stroke lead – I would have liked a six-shot lead with six to play but that’s golf; Kurt chips in for eagle and made it a proper game. Credit to him because he’s an unbelievable competitor. Him and I have gone head-to-head a couple of times and I’m happy to have got it even. I just remember Mauritius, I think he beat me in Mauritius, but I’m happy to get him back.

I haven’t been in it for so long, so it’s just nice to enjoy the feeling again. I’m happy to have got what I felt like I needed out of an event. I think for the last couple of weeks before that I think the game has been decent but I just haven’t really posted the results. Confidence is a strange thing. It feels like I’m playing with it but I haven’t really posted the results you feel like you should be doing, so it’s difficult to really gauge where your game is at. I’m happy with the way I executed my game plan, I’m happy with my mental techniques and the way I managed myself on the golf course. Ultimately I just hope that I can kick on and, I mean, it would be nice if I could go on a run like I did in 2018/2019 but who knows, maybe I do it, maybe I don’t. We’ve just got to keep giving ourselves some chances.


Funnily enough, there was actually quite a lot of South African feel this week. We’ve obviously had a lot of South African golfers come out, there were a lot of Sunshine Tour golfers got invites as well, so it was nice to see them. The nomads, the guys working out on the scoring, they’re guys I’ve known for donkeys’ years now as well and it was just nice to have them clap and cheer me on. It was almost like a home away from home. It’s a pleasure to play in front of – I know we don’t have too many of the Kenya crowds – but they’re beautiful people, very loving, incredibly hospitable and very supportive of golf here in Kenya. It’s just nice to get over the line. I would take a win anywhere, to be fair! It was something that didn’t really look like it was going to be on the cards but then again, I’m just happy with the opportunity and taking advantage of it.

Next week is more of the same really. It’s an unprecedented turnaround, I don’t think we’ve ever really played eight rounds on the same golf course in the course of nine days so I’m going to try and keep the same sort of mojo going and hope that it continues. It feels like my game is in decent enough shape. I feel like I’m rolling it nicely on the greens, I holed out nicely today so it’s just a case of really just giving yourself some chances and seeing how many you can take.

I don’t play in the rain! I think this golf course, obviously the scores were as low as they were because it’s a bit softer than it’s been in the past. I know two years ago when Guido won the greens were very, very firm and the fairways as well, it was a struggle to actually keep them in it and it made scoring obviously a little bit more difficult. If it continues to rain then I can only see the golf course giving up a few more birdies. At the same time, hopefully the rough grows a little bit and it just creates a different challenge. It’s the type of golf course where if you are playing from the fairway you’re going to give yourself a lot of birdie looks and the greens look to me like they’re holding up after what is a week of traffic. I’m looking forward to it, I think it’s going to be another good week. Karen Country Club put on a great show, they look after us very, very nicely and I’m looking forward to it.


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