Magical Kenya Open Predictions, Betting Odds & Picks
- The European Tour starts back-to-back weeks in Kenya
- Karen Country Club in Nairobi hosts for a second time after debuting in 2019
- Italian Guido Migliozzi defends the title after the 2020 edition was canceled
Magical Kenya Open Odds
|Joachim B. Hansen||+3300|
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Magical Kenya Open Predictions and Picks
Romain Langasque is a course horse at Karen Country Club and that’s key at this high-up venue. Back the Frenchman at +3000 with DraftKings Sportsbook.
Garrick Higgo has a nice combination of current and course form and the South African can get the better of a subdued Joost Luiten at -110 with bet365.
JC Richie is another South African with excellent course form (8-4) and he’s been ticking over nicely on the Sunshine Tour. Back him for a Top 20 at +350 DraftKings Sportsbook.
Romain Langasque at +3000 with DraftKings Sportsbook
Garrick Higgo to beat Joost Luiten in a 72-hole match -110 at bet365
JC Ritchie to land a top 20 at +350 with DraftKings Sportsbook
How to Watch Magical Kenya Open
|Magical Kenya Open Information|
|What||Magical Kenya Open|
|Where||Karen CC, Nairobi, Kenya|
|When||Thursday, March 18 – Sunday, March 21|
|How to Watch||Thursday 6.00 am-7.30 am ET (Golf Channel), Friday 6.00 am-7.30 am (Golf Channel), Saturday 5.30 am-7.15 am (Golf Channel), Sunday 5.30 am-7.15 am (Golf Channel). All 4 days on Sky Sports|
Magical Kenya Open Profile
Karen Country Club in Nairobi has only been seen once on the European Tour. But TV viewers should be well acquainted with the course over the next two weeks as it stages back-to-back events. The first is this week’s Magical Kenya Open before it brushes itself down and plays host to the Kenya Savannah Classic.
Last year’s tournament was halted due to the Covid-19 lockdown but it’s also the pandemic that has led to it staging successive tournaments. Travel restrictions in other parts of Europe have made it hard for the Tour to find anywhere to play. That unlikely name for the course? Karen Country Club was named after author Karen Blixen whose book ‘Out of Africa’ was filmed by Sydney Pollack and became a multiple Academy Award winner. That’s that puzzle solved but of greater interest to gamers is how they cope with just one year of course form.
Well, there’s good news there as the Kenya Open used to be a Challenge Tour event and this is the 12th time Karen CC has hosted the tournament, the first 10 being played on Europe’s second tier. The course is listed as a short 6,921-yard par 71 with back-to-back par 5s at 11 and 12. It’s a tree-lined track and the woodland is dense so the trees aren’t just there for decoration.
In addition, Nairobi is at altitude, measuring in at nearly 1,800 meters above sea level. It’s notable that some of the players who have done well there in either 2019 or in its Challenge Tour days had played well on other courses high up.
The defending champion is Guido Migliozzi of Italy, a country known for its tree-lined courses. He shot 16-under to win two years ago, coming home a shot clear of South African duo Louis de Jager and Justin Harding along with Spain’s Adri Arnaus.
Look to Langasque
This is quite a unique test so I’ll lean on course form this week given that it’s boosted by past results from the Challenge Tour.
Frenchman Romain Langasque has played it twice and thrived on both occasions.
He finished runner-up in the Challenge Tour version of the Kenya Open in 2016, shooting rounds of 69-70-69-65. And, helped by that past good performance and experience on what clubs to pull in the rarified air, Langasque ended in a tie for sixth in 2019. His laps of 67-70-69-65 added up to 13-under and that was just three back from the winning score.
In fact, he’s also done well in other events played at altitude such as finishing second in the 2018 South African Open when it was held at Randpark, a suburb of Johannesburg. His form this year isn’t incredible but tied 16th in Abu Dhabi was a fair effort. And, like many, he had rusted to shake off in last week’s Qatar Masters given that the European Tour had been dormant for over a month.
Langasque won the ISPS Handa Wales Open as recently as August and has an extra touch of class about him having won The Amateur Championship in 2015. That got him into The Masters where he finished an impressive tied 39th.
Mainly due to his strong course form, I’ll back him for the win at +3000 with DraftKings Sportsbook.
Higgo Can Outscore Luiten
Garrick Higgo knows a thing or two about playing at altitude: he was born in Johannesburg and went to college in Las Vegas. The 21-year-old left-hander is already a European Tour winner having shot 19-under to land the 2020 Open de Portugal in September.
Before that victory, one of his previous best performances came at Karen Country Club in 2019 when he finished in a tie for fifth. That now seems to make sense given his experience of playing golf high above sea level and I’ll take him to win his match bet against Joost Luiten.
Luiten also has a good finish at the course but that was way back in 2007. In terms of current form, the Dutchman has struggled to get out of second gear. He played four times in the Middle East, posting 35-44-41 before missing the cut in last week’s Qatar Masters.
By contrast, Higgo returned home to South Africa to play the Sunshine Tour’s Kit Kat Group Pro-Am a fortnight ago and finished tied 11th and that helped him get sharp for last week’s Qatar Masters where he put well and finished in a tie for 19th.
Higgo looks to have more spark right now so take him in this 72-hole pick ‘em match bet at -110 with bet365.
JC Ritchie To Land In Top 20
Staying with the earlier themes, it makes sense to look for a South African with good course form. And one that pops up at a decent Top 20 price is big-hitting JC Ritchie.
The Springbok has pegged it up at Karen Country Club twice, finishing eighth on debut in 2018 and fourth in 2019. His round scores include 64 (R2 last year) and 66.
Fifth at December’s South African Open, JC (Juan Carlo) already has seven Sunshine Tour wins and he’s been showing up nicely on home turf in the last couple of weeks.
The 27-year-old got to mix it with the stars at the WGC-Workday Championship in Florida and then took T16 and T21 on his return to South Africa. In the latter Sunshine Tour event, he ranked 1st for Greens In Regulation so his long game looks in good shape.
This is clearly a course he loves and the +350 with DraftKings Sportsbook for a Top 20 is good business.
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Dave Tindall is former golf editor at SkySports.com and Golf365.com and has been writing betting previews for the PGA Tour and European Tour since 1997. He has also written for a range of betting companies, including William Hill and Betfair, as well as being a regular columnist for Rotoworld, The Guardian, Sporting Life and Planet Sport. His other area of speciality is football while he's also covered cricket and tennis.
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