The European Tour travels to Kenya this week for the Magical Kenya Open presented by Absa, at the Karen Country Club in Nairobi.
Magical Kenya Open Leaderboard, Preview, TV Times
With many of the European Tour’s leading players in Florida this week for The Players Championship, the circuit’s lesser lights have a chance to shine as they take on the Magical Kenya Open in Nairobi.
Although this is the event’s first time on the European Tour, the Kenya Open is an historic tournament. It was first contested back in 1967 and was won by Guy Wolstenholme. It was a fixture on the European Challenge Tour from 1991 until last season. Past winners of the event include: Seve Ballesteros, Brian Barnes, Ken Brown, Ian Woosnam and Trevor Immelman.
This week, 15-time European Tour winner and 2018 Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjørn headlines the field, alongside rising stars Shubhankar Sharma and Renato Paratore. A strong home representation will also be at Karen CC plus a number of other African players who will be looking to score a victory. A former winner of this event, South Africa’s Haydn Porteous will be among the favourites.
Internet sensation Ho-sung Choi will tee it up at the Magical Kenya Open as he brings his unorthodox swing to a European Tour event this week.
The course at the Karen Country Club in Nairobi dates from 1937, a Remy Martin creation, but the layout was redesigned by David Jones in 2015 when all the greens were changed from Bermuda grass to Bentgrass.
The weather forecast is for hot and dry weather throughout tournament week.
Venue: Karen CC, Nairobi, Kenya
Date: Mar 14-17
Course stats: par 71, 6,922 yards
Defending champion: Inaugural event on European Tour – Lorenzo Gagli won Barclays Kenya Open on 2018 Challenge Tour.
How to watch The Magical Kenya Open
Thursday 14 – Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event from 8am
Friday 15 – Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event from 8am Saturday 16 – Sky Sports Golf from 9.30am and Sky Sports Main Event from 10.30am
Sunday 17 – Sky Sports Golf from 9.30am and Sky Sports Main Event from 10am
Not a Sky Sports customer and want to watch The Magical Kenya Open?
Players to watch:
Justin Harding – Fresh off the back of victory in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, the South African will look to keep that run going in Nairobi. Currently 5th on the Race to Dubai standings, he’ll be heavily tipped to score back-to-back wins.
George Coetzee – Another South African who will head into this event with confidence and clear form. He was tied second in Qatar last week.
Adri Arnaus – The young Spaniard has been consistent so far this year and has shown glimpses of good form – an opening 67 in Qatar last week for example. He looks to have the potential to make a step up on the circuit and this event could give him the opportunity.
Key Hole: 18th, a par-4 of 445 yards, the finishing hole is a long and narrow one with a green that sits across the fairway, presenting a difficult target to hit from distance. Drives here should favour the left-hand side of the fairway and approach shots should avoid the rough short, left, right and beyond the green – the bunkers are preferable. The green slopes to the front for most of the part, but a tiny portion at the top end slopes away into the rough. This will be a tough finishing hole.