'It’s what people dream of'

Supermarket delivery driver wins 'life-changing' $200k at Kenya Open

February 26, 2024

Stuart Franklin

When looking at the ridiculous amount of money changing hands in golf on a day-to-day basis, it’s sometimes easy to forget that this isn’t Monopoly Money. It’s millions upon millions—sometimes a lot more than that—heading to the bank accounts of the best golfers in the world. Those numbers are outlandish at times, but it could be argued that none of those winnings are more important than Joe Dean’s T-2 finish at the Magical Kenya Open at Muthaiga Golf Club this past weekend.

The World No. 2,930 nailed a birdie on the final hole to finish with a four-under 67 and a 12 under for the tournament. He was two shots behind the Dutch winner, Darius van Driel, but that second-place finish nabbed Dean a transformative $217,000, which certainly doesn’t hurt considering that just last week he was delivering groceries.

After missing the cut in Doha recently, the Englishman had been working for UK supermarket chain Morrisons to make ends meet. He reportedly couldn’t even make it to the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters earlier this month due to financial trouble when it came to flights and accommodations. This $200k+ will go a long way.

"I don’t think it’s sunk in yet," he said. "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. After the last three or four years I never thought I’d get another chance.”

"Still some gremlins to get past in order to get to my full potential, but like anyone you’ve got to get over them, squash them and keep going. 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."

Before the Kenya Open, Dean didn’t have enough Race to Dubai points to make it into the SDC Championship, but he’ll now tee it off at St. Francis Links this upcoming weekend after such an unexpected finish.

Dean told the BBC that the average cost of making it work in golf is "around the £3,000-£4,000 mark per week,” so he has no plans to quit his backup job at the moment. He said that he’ll reassess in April when the season gets busier.

“So maybe at that point, yeah, I'll consider handing my notice in.”