Van Driel claims maiden win on DP World Tour at Kenya Open

golf25 February 2024 18:10| © AFP

Darius van Driel won his maiden European Tour title on Sunday at the Kenya Open two shots clear of Joe Dean and Nacho Elvira.

The Dutch golfer lost his card last season but graduated again through the Tour's qualifying school and won on his 112th appearance.

"It means a lot... it's a dream come true," said an emotional Van Driel who carded a final round 67.

Van Driel, who began the tournament with a 66, was in a four-way tie for the lead around the turn on Sunday before pulling clear with an eagle at the 10th.

"As a kid you dream on the putting green 'this is for a win on the Challenge Tour' or 'this is for a win on the DP World Tour'," the 34-year-old said.

"Now it's finally there, it's what you always dream of. I was calm, but once the last putt went in I felt the emotions."

The milestone win moved Van Driel up to sixth on the Race to Dubai Rankings.

Dean, like the winner also a qualifying school graduate, had an eagle chance on the last from 12 feet to pile the pressure on Van Driel, but had to settle for a birdie, and a share of second.

It was a remarkable performance for the 29-year-old Englishman who only last week was working as a delivery driver to help fund his golfing career.

"I don't think it's sunk in yet," said Dean, who picked up £170,000 ($215,000) in prize money.

"It's got to be (life changing). It's what people dream of, it's what I've been aiming to do for a long time.

"I've never been one of the most over-confident people. Coming into this week was a bit daunting.

"Second event, you don't really feel like you belong and feel like you're trying to prove something. Luckily, I managed to get over that quickly and figure out how to get around the golf course."