Starts: 18th March 2021
Course: Karen CC, Kenya
Par: 71 (35-36)
Length: 6,921 yards
2020 Champion: N/A
Overall Profit/Loss: -14.5 pts
Pre-Event Bets: -10.5pts
1pt EW Guido Migliozzi (1/4 1-5) - 28/1 @ 10bet
1pt EW JB Hansen (1/5 1-6) - 50/1 @ Betvictor
0.5pts EW Grant Forrest (1/5 1-8) - 90/1 @ Ladbrokes
0.5pts EW Sebastian Soderberg (1/5 1-8) - 150/1 @ Ladbrokes
0.25pts EW Hadyn Porteous (1/5 1-6) - 400/1 @ Betfred
0.5pts EW Romain Langasque FRL (1/4 1-5) - 55/1 @ Betfred
0.5pts EW Garrick Higgo FRL (1/4 1-5) - 60/1 @ Betfred
0.5pts EW Darren Fichardt FRL (1/4 1-5) - 66/1 @ Betfred
0.5pts EW Louis De Jager FRL (1/4 1-5) - 70/1 @ Betfred
In-Play Bets: -4pts
19 March 2021 (-1pt)
0.5pts EW Nino Bertasio (1/4 1-5) - 66/1 @ Bet365
20 March 2021 (-3pts)
1.5pts Win Only Scott Hend -12/1 @ Bet365
1.5pts Win Only Richie Ramsay - 16/1 @ Betfair
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 event was not played in 2020 and made its European Tour debut in 2019.The course 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.
The field strength is significantly poorer than previous weeks. You can get every player at 20/1+ this week, which tells us it's a very open event.
Continue to exercise caution in relation to Covid-19 related withdrawals.
Sunny all four days with temperatures creeping into the early 80's. Wind tends to get up in the afternoon here so slight preference to morning starters each day.
Sunny and strong breeze. Winds of 6-14mph,
Showers and moderate breeze. Winds of 5-14mph.
Sunny and moderate breeze. Winds of 6-13mph.
Sunny and moderate breeze. Winds of 5-13mph.
Guido Migliozzi won in 2019 with -16. It should be noted the field strength wasn't great though. When the course hosted on other tours the winning score ranged froom -10 to -26. Expect it to be similar to Migliozzi's total of -16.
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 though - Arnaus, Harding and De Jager.
Visually, the course has an Italian Open sort of feel with the trees surrounding but not too tight to the fairways.
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 may be an advantage here eventually.
Migliozzi had no form whatsoever prior to his win. Runner up Justin Harding had won the week previous in Qatar and the other three in the top 5 were all making cuts beforehand. On one years evidence, form is preferred but not essential.
2019 leaderboard was a mix of South Africans and Europeans.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, we will focus on the stats from that event. From this evidence, we are looking for strong tee to green players. The top 7 all ranked 1st-12th tee to green last year.
In 2019, none of the top 5 ranked inside the top 20 for distance. Not a key stat.
SG: Off The Tee
Migliozzi and Arnaus ranked 2nd and 8th. The three others in the top 5 ranked outside the top 20. Preferred but not essential.
The top two ranked 4th and 8th last year and all of the top 5 were in the top 20. Hitting the small greens is essential.
SG: Around The Green
Out of the top 5, only Harding ranked inside the top 10 for this stat. Not essential.
Migliozzi, Harding and Arnaus all ranked outside the top 25 for putting. Tee to green game is preferred this week.
Long par 4 3rd played the hardest in 2019. Holes 1-4 all ranked in the top 8 hardest so it's not an easy start. Holes 13-15 are all inside the top 6 toughest holes and the 18th is the 3rd hardest hole.
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 the 6-12th 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 though. A strong start looks preferable here.
The par 3 16th and par 4 17th played slightly under par in 2019. The par 4 18th played the 3rd toughest hole. From the 13th hole onwards it's a difficult finish.
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Kenya Open In-Play Blog
20 March 2021, 6pm
For the third day running, we’re assessing the event fairly blind with no TV coverage. There is good news though, it has been resolved now and they are preparing to broadcast the final round.
Bet365 shot tracker was also down for the early part of the morning and at that point our 12/1 in-play pick Scott Hend had become bookies' favourite before stalling has he played the par 5’s. He is not out of it, but has two shots to catch up on Justin Harding.
Pre-event 28/1 play Guido Migliozzi also looked like threatening, coming down to 9/1, but a sloppy final three holes in 2 over par may mean he has too much to do.
As expected from our preview, the players who play best tee to green have prospered and the front four all rank 1-4 in that category. For that reason, it is really hard to see past the leaders, although Calum Hill still has a sniff 3 shots back.
Funnily enough, Kurt Kitayama defeated Justin Harding for his first win in Mauritius in 2018 and that may play a part in the proceedings tomorrow. Harding has not played the final 6 holes well all week, playing them in a combined 3 over par. We were tempted by the 3/1 on Kitayama but he can be a poor putter at times which may just prove costly tomorrow.
Talking of poor putters, Johannes Veerman seemed to get over his putting woes yesterday and is a massive danger if he can back that up. There were a couple of occasions in Cyprus last year where he failed to do that though, so we’re happy to leave him out at 9/2.
There are scattered thunderstorms scheduled throughout the day so we’re not sure how that’s going to impact play. With this in mind, in addition to the lack of coverage so far, we will cheer Hend on for a shock victory.
- No Bets
19 March 2021, 7:20pm
|Four Players Tied||-9|
Once again, we were without TV coverage today and we won’t have any for the third round either - which is quite frustrating as the tournament is shaping up nicely.
Kalle Samooja grabbed the early lead and was joined by Scott Hend in the afternoon. Justin Harding briefly got himself to 12 under,but three bogeys coming in left him two shots back.
There is a bit of separation on the leaderbord now with nine players -9 or better, and the chasing pack at -7. Garrick Higgo and defending champion Guido Migliozzi are the only players at 33/1 or under apart from the top 9, and given there are a few quality players up there they will take some catching.
Samooja is rated as the favourite still, priced at 4/1, but given he is yet to win we wouldn't be getting involved at that price. Kitiyama and Burmester are around the 13/2 mark and they would be preferred due to their experience. Burmester has won a European Tour event in Africa, and Kitiyama was a winner in Oman.
Big hitting co-leader Scott Hend is a three time winner on tour and commands respect at 12/1. Only Wilco Nienaber hit it further than him today and he was making mincemeat of the driveable par 4's and par 5's.
Scottish trio of Calum Hill, Connor Syme and Richie Ramsay are all within touching distance and will fancy their chances.
- 1.5PTS Win ONLY Scott Hend 12/1 @ Bet365
It’s not often you have 12/1 available on a three-time European Tour co-leader at halfway but that’s what we have here. Scott is a very volatile golfer but when he’s playing well is very dangerous. As mentioned above, he is hitting it miles which bodes well for the many short par 4’s. A risky play but you have to be in it to win it!
- 1.5PTS Win ONLY Richie Ramsay 16/1 @ Betfair
Richie is one shot behind the leaders after a 65. Like Hend, he has three European Tour wins and one of those was in South Africa. He has been off the boil for a while but was a top 100 golfer a few years back and we think his experience could be the difference here.
18 March 2021, 7pm
We have all become spoilt with live golf recently so it was a surprise for European Tour fans not to have any TV coverage for day one. The Tour issued a statement saying they hope to be able to provide coverage from tomorrow onwards, which would help when trying to predict the outcome!
It is an extremely bunched leaderboard with 29 players within three shots of the lead. Benjamin Hebert managed to go top alone with a birdie at the last and bookmakers rate him 16/1 to go on to win from here. The Frenchman has yet to win on tour but has several 2nd place finishes and was in the world's top 100 at one point. He ranked in the top 10 for driving accuracy and GIR so is in control of his ball.
Kalle Samooja is the market favourite but looks short enough at 9/1. Sam Horsfield is next at 12/1 and is a massive danger, having won twice last year before his injury. Scottish pair Callum Hill and Connor Syme both fired nine birdies each and will hope to take advantage of their early start to set a target.
Without having seen a shot hit yet, we're going to remain cautious for now and re-assess at halfway. There is one price that we feel is a bit of value though.
- 0.5pts EW (1/4 1-5) Nino Bertasio 66/1 @ Bet365
The Italian is 4 under and has a nice early tee tim. Usually quite a long hitter, it was notceable that he ranked 4th for driving accuracy today. He has started the year fairly well with for figures of 19-MC-41-35 and it should be noted this is a weaker field. He has recent African form with a 15th place finish in South Africa in 2020. A 4th at the Scottish Open in 2019 and 7th at the Qatar Masters in 2020 shows his capability.