The Magical Kenya Open: Preview, betting tips & how to watch in the UK
The Magical Kenya Open presented by ABSA has been staged for over 50 years but makes its debut as a European Tour event this week, having been founded in 1967 and later becoming part of the Challenge Tour (in 1991).
Lorenzo Gagli could become the first person to become a two-time champion at the Kenya Open, but he will be returning to a different course than when he picked up his title on the Challenge Tour last year.
Karen Country Club in Nairobi is the host of this week’s event, having staged the Kenya Open on nine separate occasions, and last was here in 2016 when Sebastian Soderberg claimed the trophy.
Soderberg also returns, along with fellow former Champion Hadyn Porteous, in addition to Thomas Bjorn and internet sensation Ho Sung Choi, the multiple Japanese Tour winenr with the infamous ‘fisherman’s swing’.
Defending Champion: Lorenzo Gagli
Course: Karen CC, Nairobi, Kenya | Par 71 | 6922 yards
Race to Dubai Points: 2000
Magical Kenya Open: TV Times
Thursday & Friday
Sky Sports Golf (08:00), Sky Sports Mix (08:00), Sky Sports Main Event (08:00), Sky Sports Mix (12:00), Sky Sports Golf – Red Button (12:00)
Sky Sports Mix (09:30), Sky Sports Golf (09:30), Sky Sports Main Event (10:30), Sky Sports Golf – Red Button (12:30)
Sky Sports Golf (09:30), Sky Sports Mix (09:30), Sky Sports Main Event (10:00)
Magical Kenya Open: Betting Tips
Justin Harding: 10/1
Last week’s winner notched up his fifth victory on three tours in the last nine months at the Qatar Masters, which was his third top 10 of 2019. He’s definitely the most in-form player, and ranks 8th for Scoring average, 8th SG: Around the green, 11th for Putter per round and 16th for birdie average. Tournament debut.
Erik Van Rooyen: 12/1
Van Rooyen followed a T36 at the WGC Mexico Championship with a 2nd place finish in Qatar last week. Looking for his first European Tour win, but had four top 10s on Tour last year and is a winner on both the Sunshine and Challenge Tours. MC at this event in 2017 but T19 in 2016 – which was when the tournament was last held at Karen CC. Ranks inside the top 50 on Tour for birdie average, driving distance, sand saves and putts per round.
George Coetzee: 16/1
Looking to go one better after also finishing as one of nine runner-ups at last week’s Qatar Masters, which followed a string of mixed results in 2019 (previous best of T38 and four MCs). A four time European Tour winner making his debut here. Ranks 35th SG: Putting and 37th for birdie average.
Jeff Winther: 22/1
Winther finished T8-T12-T14 in his last three starts on two different Tours, and was T15 when he last teed up at the Kenya Open in 2013. He’s still looking for his first professional victory.
Gangeet Bhullar: 25/1
In five starts on the European Tour in 2019 Bhullar, who is a nine-time Asian Tour winner, has gone T27-T38-T34-T27-T31. Making his debut in Kenya. Ranks inside the top 20 on the European Tour for par-3 and par-5 scoring, and 37th for putts per round.
Adri Arnaus: 25/1
The World No.148 claimed the Challenge Tour finale last year, and finished T14 in Qatar last week. Ranks 9th for SG: Off the tee and inside the top 35 on Tour for GIR and SG: Tee to green. MC at this event last year on debut, but it’s a different course this year.
Christiaan Bezuidenhout: 25/1
One of nine players to finish runner-up last week, and will come to this course with confidence. He finished T4 in 2014.
Sebastian Soderberg: 33/1
Soderberg finished T20 at last week’s Qatar Masters, which followed a T21 in Oman. He also finished T6 in the Kenya Open last year, and won the event in 2016 at Karen CC. Ranks 16th for SG: Around the green on the European Tour.
Clement Sordet: 33/1
Sordet missed a chance to win in Oman and followed it up with a MC in Qatar, but don’t be surprised if he rebounds in a big way this week. His runner-up finish was his second top 10 in his last four starts, which also includes a T17 at the ISPS World Super 6 Perth. Last start here was a T54 in 2017.
Nick Cullen: 40/1
T31-T14 during his last two starts on at the Oman Open and Qatar Masters, and finished T25 in his last start at the Kenya Open. Ranked 1st on the challenge tour for scoring average last season.
Adrien Saddier: 50/1
Saddier is another player with a good history at the Kenya open, having finished 2nd at this event in 2017. A T27 last week in Qatar and T31 in Oman.
Thomas Bjorn: 125/1
Bjorn is one of the biggest names teeing up in Kenya this week, and the 15-time European Tour winner is undoubtedly one of the most experienced people in the field. He posted back-to-back top 30s in the first two events of the year, but then missed two cuts in a row before a T42 at the Qatar Masters last week. Makes his first return since 1995, a tournament in which he finished in a tie for second in 1995.