The European Tour heads to Kenya for the first of back-to-back tournaments in the East African country. This week’s Magical Kenya Open made its debut on the ET in 2019 after years as a stop on the Challenge Tour and fell victim to the COVID pandemic last year. The field returns to Karen Country Club in Nairobi, which will also play host to the Kenya Savannah Classic next week. Kurt Kitayama opened as the betting favorite looking to become the first American golfer to win this event since it was first played in 1967. The odds suggest a close field only adding to the excitement of tournament matchups. Be sure to visit BookMaker.eu for updated matchup odds and to place your wager.
Magical Kenya Open Matchup Odds at BookMaker.eu
Kurt Kitayama-151 vs. Kalle Samooja +121
George Coetzee -115 vs. Chris Paisley -115
Romain Langasque -109 vs. Johannes Veerman -121
JC Ritchie +118 vs. Joakim Lagergren -148
Sam Horsfield +112 vs. Jazz Janewattananond -142
James Morrison -114 vs. Matthieu Pavon -116
Jayden Schaper +127 vs. Joachim B. Hansen -160
Jamie Donaldson -141 vs. Justin Harding +111
Kalle Samooja +106 vs. Guido Migliozzi -136
Richard Bland +101 vs. Maverick Antcliff -131
Jordan Smith -130 vs. Marcus Armitage +100
Guido Migliozzi -127 vs. Matthias Schwab -103
Daniel van Tonder +120 vs. Dean Burmester -150
Kurt Kitayama -139 vs. Matthias Schwab +109
Jorge Campillo -106 vs. John Catlin -124
Justin Harding -112 vs. Niklas Lemke -118
Dale Whitnell -102 vs. Nino Bertasio -128
Grant Forrest -132 vs. Julian Suri +102
Shubhankar Sharma +124 vs. Connor Syme -155
Kurt Kitayama -132 vs. Guido Migliozzi +102
Masahiro Kawamura -112 vs. Alexander Levy -118
Matthew Southgate -125 vs. Adrian Meronk -105
Scott Vincent -147 vs. Gaganjeet Bhullar +117
Wil Besseling +105 vs. Louis De Jager -135
Adrian Otaegui -122 vs. Victor Dubuisson -108
Benjamin Hebert -103 vs. Steven Brown -127
Calum Hill -108 vs. Garrick Higgo -122
George Coetzee -103 vs. Aaron Rai -127
Aaron Rai -124 vs. Chris Paisley -106
Joost Luiten -117 vs. Johannes Veerman -113
Darren Fichardt -128 vs. Wilco Nienaber -102
Romain Langasque -104 vs. Joost Luiten -126
Kalle Samooja -105 vs. Matthias Schwab -125
Jamie Donaldson -140 vs. Niklas Lemke +110
Need to Know
We have a contrast to what the Tour just finished up playing in the Middle Eastern desert swing. The wide open space in Qatar and Oman gives way to tight, tree-lined fairways at Karen Country Club. Altitude also comes into play, shrinking an already short course that doesn’t reach 7,000 yards when stretched out. Keep the ball in play and you will go low. All the par-5s are reachable and should yield a number of birdie and eagle opportunities. In 2019 the top seven on the leaderboard scored under par in every round with Guido Migliozzi emerging with a one-swing victory over a trio of players at 16-under. The Italian is back to defend his maiden Euro Tour title.
Magical Kenya Open Matchup Picks
Romain Langasque -104 vs. Joost Luiten
It might be a stretch backing Langasque since recent form hasn’t been inspiring. But his play at Karen is something that stands out. He was one of the players to card four red numbers in 2019 on his way to a T6 in the MKO and also went 15-under on this track earning a runner-up finish on the Challenge Tour in 2016. And it wasn’t that long ago when the Frenchman triumphed at the Wales Open. The tighter track is more to his liking and I’ll back him at a decent price.
Wilco Nienaber -102 vs. Darren Fichardt
The length of the course definitely takes away one of Nienaber’s strengths, which is distance. But we’ve seen past winners successfully club down to emerge with a win. And since joining the ET Nienaber has shown the ability to use every club in his bag. He had a tough time during the desert swing, which was a bit surprising considering the length of some of those courses. But a return to his homeland should inspire confidence. And he’s been a beast playing in Africa.
Chris Paisley -106 vs. Aaron Rai
Paisley should be well rested and he hasn’t shown any rust from his time off. Returning last week after over a month off, Paisley grabbed a T7 at the Qatar Masters, his second such finish in his last four starts. He also claimed a T21 against a much stronger field at the Saudi International. Paisley has the skill set to be successful on this course and he is looking to make up for lost time.
Daniel van Tonder +120 vs. Dean Burmester
One of several talented South Africans, van Tonder is used to winning and he’s played well at Karen in the past so I have a hard time ignoring him at this price. A consistent winner on the Sunshine Tour, van Tonder had success early in his ET career. Playing locally last week he suffered a playoff loss at the African Players Championship. He’s placed among the top-12 in all four of his starts at the Karen Country Club giving me reason to back him at plus odds.
Guido Migliozzi +102 vs. Kurt Kitayama
Players coming off a top-10 finish in Qatar and at the top of the odds board this week makes for an interesting matchup. Migliozzi tamed this layout two years ago for his first ET victory and he was among a trio of golfers to finish one-shot off the lead last week. While Kitayama has been hot with a T9 in Qatar, I like Migliozzi and his confidence level is high heading in.
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