Michael Palmer has descirbed his title at
the just ended KCB Karen Masters as a huge feat in his
career, reports SAMSON
‘This title is
huge for me,” he said.
ago, Palmer was thinking to himself if it’s even worth
coming to Kenya ?’
been so bad – the negative thoughts don’t stop. It’s my
first cut this year! It’s just a huge turnaround. I can’t
believe it,” Palmer said.
Africqn capped one of the most dramatic form turnarounds
as he won the KCB Karen Masters at Karen Country Club by
two strokes for his maiden Sunshine Tour title.
He closed with
a five-under-par 67 to beat off the challenge of Merrick
and Tyrone Ryan shared third a further shot back.
something seemingly as simple as that is that this
tournament represented the first time Palmer had made the
cut in seven tries in the 2018-19 season.
He started the
round one stroke off the lead, and a nervy start saw him
reach the halfway mark in level-par after making birdie on
two, and bogey at the turn.
“It was a bit
disappointing to make bogey on nine,” he said.
“I hit a bad
tee shot and had to punch out and take my medicine. I just
tried to stick in there, and I got hot at the end when it
And, boy, did
he ever get hot. He made five birdies in a homeward none
of 31, including two in a row on 17 and 18 which lifted
him well enough clear that he could enjoy the feeling of
“The birdie on
17 was huge,” he said of the putt which elicited a
celebration worthy of the win. “I knew that it meant that
anyone else was going to have to go really low on the last
two if they were going to catch me.”
Even so, he
battled to remember what it was like coming down the
stretch after he shot his approach on the par-five 18 just
beyond the pin into the fringe to give himself a chance of
eagle, and an almost certain birdie.
year had been so poor, just being in the position in which
he found himself was dizzying. “I’ve been getting more and
more excited this whole week,” he said.
has been about trying to relax and calm my nerves a bit,
but down the stretch was quite thrilling.
remember the tee shot. The approach was quite tricky,
actually, because my ball was sitting down in the rough,
and with the wind behind, you can’t stop it on the green.
landed into one of the slopes and that slowed it down.”
periods of the final round, it looked likely that Ryan was
going to cruise away with the title.
He had it to
17-under heading up the 13th when disaster
A poor tee
shot saw him eventually write down a seven on his card for
the par-four hole, and that effectively dumped him out of
two over through the turn, but three successive birdies
from the 10th saw him roaring back into
contention. However, a bogey on the par-three 14th
left him with too much to do and even birdies on 17 and 18
So, from being
literally stone last on the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit,
Palmer finds himself in seventh after the Nairobi event.
And he has
secured his Sunshine Tour card for the next couple of
nothing on the Order of Merit up until now… I can’t
believe it,” he said.
really had this problem that I get into all the big
tournaments on the Sunshine Tour.
even thought about having to travel to some of the
co-sanctioned events like Mauritius. It’s exciting.”