This year’s Kenya Open winner Lorenzo Gagli will be among the star attractions in the forthcoming Turkish Airlines Challenge slated for Gloria Golf Club in Belek, Antalya from April 26-29.
The Italian, who currently tops the European Challenge Tour 2018 rankings with 80,000points, is among the Kenya Open stars gearing up for the Turkish round of the European Challenge Tour which has a total prize fund of €200,000.
Gagli, who clinched the coveted 2018 Kenya Open title following a dramatic three-way hole 13 play-off over Swede Jens Fahrbring after a -11 deadlock on the fourth round, will be hoping to consolidate his lead on the Challenge Tour log in an event which has attracted a star studded field.
Other Kenya Open stars in the mix are Philip Mejow of Germany and Finland’s Kalle Samooja who both finished joint third in the 2018 edition after firing a cumulative total of -10.
Finland’s Oliver Lindell who clinched the momentous Hole-in-One car, a Ford Ranger WildTrak valued at Sh6.9 at Muthaiga after firing a 7-iron into the hole at 173m (191 yards) par three 13th which was the official designated hole, will also play in Turkey.
Garry Boyd, the 2009 Kenya open winner with a score of -12 under par 272 gross, has also been invited to the Turkish Airlines Challenge which is the third round of the European Challenge Tour after Kenya Open and the Belt & Road Colorful Yunnan Open 2018 which was recently won by Finland’s Kim Koivu at the Kunming Yulongwan Golf Club ,Kunming in Yunnan Province, China.
Italian Lorenzo Gagli vanquished Swede Jens Fahrbring in a nerve-raking three-way play-off on hole 13 to emerge the winner of 2018 Kenya Open Championship at the Par 71 Muthaiga course.
In what will perhaps go down in history as one of the most dramatic edition, Gagli and Fahrbring parred the hole twice before an enthusiastic crowd which included His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Both players were tied on 11 under 273 after 18 holes and were compelled to break the deadlock in a dramatic sudden death which treated hundreds of spectators to exhilarating displays.
But Lorenzo had his campaign for the coveted title effectively sewn up in the third play off when Fahrbring excruciatingly sunk the ball into the dam to bogey on his third attempt. Fahrbring is also headed to Turkey to renew his rivalry with Gagli who became the inaugural winner of the Kenya Open inaugural jacket and the winner of the lucrative Ksh. 11.5 Million prize money.
Sebastian Soderberg who triumphed at Karen Country Club in 2016 will also be in action in Turkey. Soderberg was seeking to become just the second person in the Kenya Open 50-year history to win at both Nairobi courses, with England’s Maurice Bembridge currently the only player to achieve the feat way back in 1968 and 1969.
The Turkish Airlines Challenge was first played in 2010 when Charlie Ford triumphed in a sudden-death playoff over Oscar Florén. It returned in 2014.
CURRENT 2018 CHALLENGE TOUR STANDINGS
Lorenzo Gagli (Ita) 80,000 points
Jens Fahrbring (Swe)55,000
Kim Koivu (Fin) 53,160
Kalle Samooja (Fin) 34,115
Philipp Mejow (Ger) 32,157
Nico Geyger(Chi) 30,000
Marcus Armitage (Eng)27,168
Joachim B. Hansen (Den) 25,543
Oliver Bekker (Rsa) 19,198
Sebastian Soderberg (Swe) 18,000