The European Tour reaches another continent as it leaves Asia behind and heads to Africa for the Kenya Open at Karen Country Club, Nairobi, Kenya.
The 156 field will be competing for the €1million prize money with the winner collecting $166,700.
This par 71 parkland venue will be a test for most with accuracy being key to any success. It’s certainly not a big hitter's paradise with lots of thinking and tactics coming into play. You’ll notice plenty of iron shots from the tee to reduce wayward drives going out of bounds or into water.
Guido Migliozzi returns to defend the title he won in 2019 with last year’s tournament cancelled.
Other course winners taking part include Eduardo Molinari, Sebastian Soderberg, Haydn Porteous and Will Besseling.
The event will be screened live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Golf starting at 10.00am GMT Thursday.
The weather is forecast to be sunny and warm as one would expect in Africa but breezes are expected to pick up in the afternoons so it’s always useful to keep track of this as players teeing-off earlier could certainly gain a slight advantage.
So let’s get on with this week’s European Tour selections. For my first and main selection I’m going to advise Aaron Rai 32/1 EW Betfair.
The Englishman won this tournament back in 2017, has connections to this part of the world and is considered by locals as one of their own due to his mother’s roots.
When Rai won this event four years ago it was not on the European Tour schedule but part of the Challenge Tour, in fact it was only two years ago the Kenya Open was added as a Tour event.
However the young 26 year old has gone on to earn two European crowns to his name since then. He won the Hong Kong Open in 2018 and more recently he won the Scottish Open back in October at the Renaissance Club at North Berwick.
He has also had a few near misses at the Irish Open, finishing runner up and the Scottish Championship where he was an unlucky 3rd. The youngster is ranked 77th in the world rankings and if he can produce his A game in surroundings he admires and that suit his game then it could all come together in Africa once again and the talented Englishman can make it win no. 3 on the Tour at an attractive price .
For my next selection I’m going to stick with a previous winner and suggest the defending champion Guido Migliozzi.
It just makes sense to side with someone who knows their way around this difficult track. Not only that,the young 24 year old Italian is in fine form at the moment carding a final round 65 last Sunday to finish runner up to our main selection Antoine Rozner who won as advised at 28/1 to make it yet another profitable weekend.
Migliozzi is a talented golfer and was inside the world's top 100 ranked golfers only a matter of months ago. He has finished inside the top 10 at no less than five tournaments recently that include the Porsche European Open, Turkish Airlines Open, Omar Open, Andalucia Masters and the Qatar Masters last weekend.
If the Italian can turn up playing the sublime golf he produced last week and use his expertise and knowledge that won him this tournament last time out then he is definitely going to be the one they all have to beat as he defends his title.
For my next choice I’m going to select Romain Langasque 33/1 EW Bet365.
With strokes gained off the tee a major statistic here at Karen Country Club then the 25 year old Frenchman can certainly boast these figures, currently 9th on the European Tour in this category.
Langasque was 6th here two years ago and in 2016 he went even closer, finishing runner up to eventual winner Sebastian Soderberg.
He headed straight to Augusta for The Masters just after that tournament where he finished an absolutely amazing 39th. You may think what’s good about that but you have to remember he was still an amateur back then.
The young Frenchman has since went on to win on the European Tour with a victory just a few months ago at the ISPS Handa Wales Open at Celtic Manor.
He can back that up with too many top 10 finishes to mention and is a player who just seems to always be lurking around and constantly on leaderboards. I can only see him lurking around again here this week and be there or thereabouts contending if not winning come Sunday afternoon.
Romain Langasque v Niklas Lemke
For my final selection I’m going to stick with Romain Langasque to get the better off Niklas Lemke in a 72 hole matchbet at 10/11 Nap Bet365.