Starts: 23rd March 2021
Course: Karen CC, Kenya
Par: 71 (35-36)
Length: 6,921 yards
2020 Champion: N/A
Overall Profit/Loss: -16 pts
Pre-Event Bets: -8pts
1.5pts Kurt Kitayama 14/1 @ Skybet (Win Only)
1pt Sam Horsfield 22/1 @ Skybet (Win Only)
0.75pts EW Adrian Otaegui 40/1 @ Ladbrokes (1/5 1-8)
0.75pts EW Connor Syme 50/1 @ Bet365 (1/4 1-5)
0.75pts EW John Catlin 60/1 @ Ladbrokes (1/5 1-8)
0.5pts Each Way Ondrej Lieser 125/1 @ Ladbrokes (1/5 1-8)
In-Play Bets: -8pts
23 March 2021 (-4pts)
0.5pts EW Dean Burmester (1/4 1-5) - 50/1 @ William Hill
0.5pts EW Jayden Schaper (1/4 1-5) - 90/1 @ Betfred
1pt EW Jonathan Caldwell 2nd Round Leader (1/4 1-4) - 30/1 @ Betfair
24 March 2021 (-2pts)
1pt Darius Van Driel Top 5 Finish - 9/1 @ Betfair
1pt Julien Guerrier Top 5 Finish - 15/1 @ Betfair
25 March 2021 (-2pts)
1pt EW Louis De Jager (1/4 1-3) - 33/1 @ Boylesports
Designer: Remy Martin
Type of Course: Classical, tree lined
Used Since: 2019
Fairways: Kikuyu, quite narrow
Greens: Bentgrass, 12.5 on Stimp, small, undulating
Water Hazards: On eight holes
Par 5's: 6th, 11th and 12th
Premium on: Tee to Green
Significant Info To Be Aware Of
This course is being used for the second consecutive week and previously hosted on the European Tour in 2019. It also hosted events on the Sunshine Tour in 2018 and 2019, and a Challenge Tour event between 2013 and 2016.
The course is at altitude which means players need to manage their distance control.
Continue to exercise caution in relation to Covid-19 related withdrawals.
Sunny from Wednesday onwards with temperatures creeping into the early 80's. Last week the wind didn't play much of a part despite the forecast - we may see it more prevelant on the first two days this time.
Light Cloud and a fresh breeze. Max winds 19mph.
Sunny Intervals and a fresh breeze. Max winds 18mph.
Sunny intervals and moderate breeze. Max winds 13mph.
Sunny and moderate breeze. Max winds 15mph.
Justin Harding won the Kenya Open last week on this course with a score of -21. Guido Migliozzi won in 2019 with -16. When the course hosted on other tours the winning score ranged from -10 to -26. Expect it to be similar to Harding's total of -21.
Last week, Harding was drifting up the world rankings to 195th before his win and started around 40/1. In general, the leaderboard was packed with quality throughout though. Migliozzi used this event to make his breakthrough in 2019 and arrived ranked 576th in the world. The three players in 2nd were all highly rated - Arnaus, Harding and De Jager.
Visually, the course has an Italian Open sort of feel with trees surrounding but not too tight to the fairways. It may have been a coincidence, but Kitayama and Harding went head to head in Mauritius previously.
Harding won last week having fnished 2nd here in 2019. Kitayama was making his debut and Syme had finished 35th in his sole appearance. In 2019, Migliozzi was making his debut, as were Bhullar and Samooja who finished 5th and 6th. However, Harding and De Jager in 2nd place had both recorded top 20's at this course on the Sunshine Tour the previous year, and Langasque in 6th place also had finished 2nd here previously. It's early days but it looks like course form is an advantage.
Last week, Harding and Syme arrived after poor results in Qatar. Kitayama was in good form though with consecutive top 12's. In 2019, Migliozzi had no form whatsoever prior to his win. Runner up Justin Harding had won the week previously in Qatar and the other three in the top 5 were all making cuts beforehand. Form is preferred but not essential.
Three South Africans were in the top 8 last week. As the course was used on the Sunshine Tour in 2018 and 2019, we should expect the South Afrcians to go well again.
As the course has only been used on the European Tour in 2019 and last week, we will focus on the stats from those events. From this evidence, we are looking for strong tee to green players. The top 7 all ranked 1st-12th tee to green in 2019 and the top 4 ranked 1st-4th in 2021.
In 2019, none of the top 5 ranked inside the top 20 for distance. Not a key stat.
SG: Off The Tee
In 2019, Migliozzi and Arnaus ranked 2nd and 8th. The three others in the top 5 ranked outside the top 20. In 2021, none of the top 4 ranked above 19th in this category. Preferred but not essential.
The top two ranked 4th and 8th in 2019 and all of the top 5 were in the top 20. In 2021, the top 3 ranked inside the top 10. Hitting the small greens is essential.
SG: Around The Green
Out of the top 5 in 2019, only Harding ranked inside the top 10 for this stat. In 2021, Harding and Kitayama ranked inside the top 11 but Syme who was 3rd, ranked 69th. Not essential but has been important to Harding's success here.
In 2019, Migliozzi, Harding and Arnaus all ranked outside the top 25 for putting. In 2021, the top two ranked no better than 19th. Tee to green game is preferred this week.
The long par 4 3rd played the hardest in 2019 and the 15th was toughest in 2021. In both years holes 13-15 were all inside the top 6 toughest and the 18th was the 3rd/4th hardest.
The three par 5s (6th, 11th and 12th), played the easiest in 2019 and need to be taken advantage of. Par 4's 7th, 9th and 10th played next easiest, meaning 6-12 is the scoring stretch.
Fast or Slow Start
In 2019, 8 of the top 10 were within 3 of the lead after round one. Harding, who finished 2nd, was 6 back. In 2021, Harding and Kitayama were both within 3 shots after every round. A strong start looks preferable.
The par 3 16th and par 4 17th played slightly under par in 2019 and close to par in 2021. The par 4 18th played the 4th toughest hole in 2021. From the 13th hole onwards it's a difficult finish.
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Kenya Savannah Classic In-Play Blog
25 March 2021, 9:00pm
Three birdies in his last four holes has given Justin Harding a commanding lead going into the final round of the Kenya Savannah Classic. That lead sees him as an even money shot to win back to back in Kenya.
Harding had a two shot lead going into last week's Kenya Open and a final round of 66 was enough to see him win by two shots. As we mentioned yesterday, he has history of winning back to back events and we feel only a lack of energy or a low round from one of the chasing pack can stop him now.
The bookies agree and make Darren Fichardt next best in the betting at a best price of 12/1. He's the only one of the players at 14 under who have won on the European Tour and it may be that he'll enjoy coming from off the pace. He couldn't convert when leading after 54 holes in Qatar two weeks ago but his last win (2020 Betway Championship) came by virtue of a final round 64.
Of the other players at 14 under par, Daniel Van Tonder surely can't putt as badly as he did in round three. A number of poor chips and putts dropped him out of the lead but he'll be a threat if he putts like he did the first two days.
Our 22/1 pre-event pick, Sam Horsfield, double bogeyed the last hole to drop to 13 under par and whilst he'll need to go low, that isn't unthinkable. He closed with a 65 last week and a similar round would at least make it interesting.
Round 4 Bet
- 1pt Each Way Louis De Jager 33/1 @ Boylesports (1/4 1-3)
Louis found himself well off the pace after an opening round of 71. However, rounds of 65 and 64 have seen him climb the leaderboard and he's striking the ball really nicely. He'll need another round of 64 to have any chance of winning but that's entirely possible given the way the course is playing. With doubts over several players at the top of the leaderboard, we could well see Louis finish in the top 3 and claim the each way money.
24 March 2021, 9:00pm
Three eagles saw Daniel Van Tonder leap to the top of the leaderboard on a day of low scoring. A closing bogey saw his lead cut to one shot and he goes into the weekend as 9/2 second favourite.
The South African was prolific on the Sunshine Tour in 2020, winning four times and notching seven other top 10 finishes. However, that form didn't carry over to European Tour co-sanctioned events and he disappointed last year when the level of opposition increased. For all that Van Tonder has been clinical on the Sunshine Tour, he remains unproven at this higher grade.
The man the bookies rate as favourite to win is Justin Harding. Harding is seeking to win back to back and although that's not something we see often, Harding did do it in 2018 on the Sunshine Tour. He's as short as 10/3 to win from here and you'd very much expect him to be contending come Friday.
We saw quite a bit of volatility last week with 36 holes to go and it may be worth siding with those players a couple of shots off the pace. The top 5 at halfway last week generally struggled, with only Connor Syme managing to remain inside the top 5 come Sunday evening.
Round 3 Bets
- 1pt Julien Guerrier Top 5 finish 15/1 @ Betfair
As we mentioned above, there were significant moves made over the weekend last week and we think there's value to be had in the top 5 market. Julien is a player who has yet to win on the European Tour and often struggles when in contention. However, coming off the pace he's more than capable of putting a couple of low rounds together and forcing himself into the top 5. He ranks 15th SG: Off The Tee and 37th for SG: Approach so far this week and with only three shots to make up, he's in a good position.
- 1pt Darius Van Driel Top 5 finish 9/1 @ Betfair
Darius cut through the field in round two as he shot a blistering 62. There's always a bit of trepidation backing a player who's just shot a low round but odds of 9/1 for a top 5 finish are just too good to turn down. Darius is an improving player who already has a couple of Challenge Tour wins to his name. His best finish on the European Tour was 2nd at the 2019 Belgian Knockout, on a tree lined course like this. The winner of that tournament was Guido Migliozzi,the 2019 Kenya Open champion, so there's perhaps a bit of course correlation there. Darius is inside the top 20 for SG: Off The Tee and SG: Approach this week, if he continues that level of play he can claim a top 5.
23 March 2021, 7:30pm
|Eight Players Tied||-6|
Justin Harding has picked up from where he left off, taking a share of the first round lead with Joost Luiten, Alejandro Canizares and Clement Sordet. The bookmakers now rate Harding 6/1 favourite to win back-to-back events in Kenya. Co-leader Luiten is next at 10/1 with Sam Horsfield 12/1.
It's very difficult to tell whether Harding will eventually run out of gas, but at 6/1 he's probably not worth the risk. It was a quick turnaround. We put up Horsfield pre-event at almost double the odds he is now and he is fancied over Luiten at this stage. If you aren't already on, we would advise you consider at least covering him. We wrote the following about Sam in our telegram group;
"What really catches our eye is the fact he won last year on his second start after a long break. After the break for coronavirus he recorded a 10th place finish and went on to win the next week. His 8th place finish last week, with a final round 65, means that he's definitely in our staking plan this week."
Despite the winds picking up slightly each afternoon, it doesn't appear to have given the morning starters much of an advantage - so there appears to be no draw bias. With that in mind we have selected one player from each side to make a move tomorrow. We also have a specialty 2nd round leader bet.
Round 2 Bets
- 0.5pts EW (1/4 1-5) Dean Burmester 50/1 @ William Hill
Dean has started slowly due to a double bogey on his closing nine holes and is five shots back. This was largely due to taking 31 putts. He ranked 6th for GIR and 12th for driving accuracy. He is the type of player who can have hot days on the greens - he shot a 2nd round 64 last week on the way to an 8th place finish.
- 0.5pts EW (1/4 1-5) Jayden Schaper 90/1 @ Betfred
Jayden is also five shots back but teeing off in the afternoon tomorrow. We're selecting the talented South African for the same reasons as Burmester - he has massive potential and only a poor day on the greens held him back. He finished 24th last week, which was a nice warm up, and can be expected to build on that. Ranked 14th GIR yesterday.
- 1pt EW (1/4 1-4) Jonathan Caldwell 2ND ROUND LEADER 30/1 @ Betfair
Jonathan shot a bogey free round of six under par and is only one shot off the lead. He showed last year how capable he is with three top 10 finishes in the 2nd half of the year, including the Italian Open which has a similar tree-lined layout. He is a beautiful putter and ranked 5th for driving accuracy which could be a nice combination tomorrow. We're not sure he could go all the way to win, but he is more than capable of another low one tomorrow.