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Kenya Open Golf Betting Tips
Rob Cobley’s Kenya Open Betting Tips
Karen Country Club - Nairobi, Kenya - Par 71, 6,921 Yards
The European Tour heads to Kenya for the Kenya Open, which will play as a full Tour event for only the second time. Back in 2019, it moved from being a Challenge Tour event to a full Tour stop, and that was scheduled to continue last year until Covid scuppered the event. However, this year, it returns, and there is a relatively strong field given the travelling involved from last week's event in Qatar.
The Karen Country Club is situated in a suburb outside of the Kenyan capital Nairobi and is a beautiful but challenging short layout. Although the yardage on the card is 6,921 yards, the course is at altitude, and in reality, it plays closer to 6,500, making it, in practice, one of the shortest venues on Tour.
What is lacking in length is made up for in other areas. There is little rough, but the fairways are tight and lined by trees which will potentially block out any wayward shots, so accuracy is at a premium both from the tee and on the approach to the small, fast, bentgrass greens. This is a course that suits the strategic player, requiring a creative and consistent short game.
Last Five Winners
Year | Winner | Score 2020 | Cancelled | - 2019 | Guido Migliozzi | -16 2018 | Lorenzo Gagli | -11 2017 | Aaron Rai | -17 2016 | Sebastien Soderberg | -18
The Market Leaders
Japan's Kurt Kitayama (18/1) comes in as the favourite this week in a very even betting contest. Kitayama was in good form on both the Asian and European Tours with a 9th last week in Qatar on the back of three top 30s in Japan at the start of the season. Kitayama fits most players’ profile from his region; he is short, accurate, and has a great short game. These are all the facets required to be successful at Karen, but it is his first visit here, and he is far from a proven winner. The price seems fair, but for me, there is better value elsewhere.
Kalle Samooja (20/1) was 6th here last year in a weaker field, and this is not a course I would see as a perfect fit for the big-hitting man from Finland. Admittedly he has performed well on tight tracks such as at the Scottish Open before, but they have been far longer than this, and his edge would seem limited here. He is one of the better players in the field but represents little value.
Matthias Schwab (22/1) is the lowest-ranked player in the field, but his game has disappeared over the last six months. He returned to action last week and cut the number before finishing 71st. He has the game for the venue but is so out of touch that he is impossible to support. George Coetzee (221) represents slightly better value at a price despite a missed cut last week. He finished 17th here last season and arrives as a stronger player than 12 months ago. He was one to consider, but I very much like a couple of players a bit further down the market.
Rob’s Golf Betting Tips
<a name="tip-1>Guido Migliozzi: 25/1 To Win
Guido Migliozzi picked up his first career win here two years ago and quickly followed it up with another at the Belgian knockout two months later. At that point, he was looking as though he might be a rising star on the European Tour, but things never really kicked on. He managed a host of top 40 finishes without really contending but burst back onto the scene last week in Qatar, where a closing 66 left him just one shot shy of victory thanks to Antoine Rozner's 40-foot winning putt on the 18th.
That performance bodes well for returning to the happiest and most suitable of hunting grounds for Migliozzi, and I expect him to go incredibly close this week. For me, he should be the stand out market favourite, and I am more than happy to select him at top industry price with 3 points e/w at 25/1.
Other Betting Tips
Jamie Donaldson has recently looked back to his former glory days and found himself in the penultimate group on the final day last week in Qatar. He ultimately finished in 5th place, and it is a statement of intent that he has travelled to Kenya to a venue where he has played once before, a top 10 back in 2011 on the Challenge Tour. Donaldson is a great iron player, and he will love the small tight putting surfaces here. His long game does sometimes let him down, but that was also in great shape in Qatar. If he can stay out of trouble and make a few putts, Jamie should be right there come the end of the week. I have had 2 points e/w at 28/1.
I felt that I needed to add a third player to the stable this week, and Gaganjeet Bhullar, who led going into the final round of this event in 2019, has been on my radar for a while. That was further compounded last week with an excellent display in Qatar where he played some fantastically aggressive golf down the stretch and was unlucky not to do better than his eventual 5th placed finish. Bhullar has a similar game to Migliozzi and is another player I would have much shorter than the market price. I suggest 2 points e/w at 66/1.
Following a rolling profit of 300 points for the 2019 & 2020 seasons, I am looking for a great 2021 and have some great bets lined up for events throughout the year on both the PGA and European Tours. Each week I will pick between two to four selections at each event and suggest a suitable staking plan.