2019 Magical Kenya Open Preview
With the great and good of world golf heading off to TPC Sawgrass for THE PLAYERS Championship, the European Tour is very much taking second billing this week.
And, to give it its full title, the Magical Kenya Open does not quite live up to its name.
Promoted from the Challenge Tour, the event has not been supported by the big-name regulars, and so a very sparse field will assemble for what is in essence a glorified Sunshine/Challenge Tour event.
It’s a shame that it hasn’t been supported: a new event in a developing country is a fantastic opportunity to grow the sport, but the players have their own reasons for staying at home and that is to the detriment of the competition.
Nevertheless, there’s a full DFS slate, and so we must march on.
In stark contrast to the vast open expanses of space the players have enjoyed on the Desert Swing, the Karen Country Club – our host this week – is a very different test of skill.
Christiaan Bezuidenhout of South Africa plays his tee shot on the par 5, third hole during the first round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic on the Majlis Course at the Emirates Golf Club on January… Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images
A typically African layout, the tight fairways are lined with tense trees and shrubbery, and so keeping your ball in play is essential.
The real estate sits at a high altitude too, which helps the ball fly, and so the 6,920 yard Par 71 will have a true distance of around 6,400 yards.
Mind you, this doesn’t appear to be a bomber fest, although even the shorter hitters will be hitting wedges into flags this week and that should present plenty of scoring opportunities.
The Karen Country Club gives with one hand and takes with another, as far as the native African players are concerned. The fairways and rough are Kikuyu, the grain of grass local to the continent, but the greens have been switched to Bentgrass, which is more familiar to those from the northern hemisphere.
And really, that’s all we know about a layout that hasn’t seen competitive golf since 2016. Unfortunately, it’s one of those suck it and see weeks of DFS action.
The pricing hasn’t helped matters, either. The top salary goes to Justin Harding, who won in Qatar last week, but he’s got a lot of traveling to do and you never quite know how an event winner will react the week after their triumph.
The next three in the salaries – George Coetzee, Erik van Rooyen and Romain Langasque – can all be filed under the same category: supremely talented, but hopelessly inconsistent!
So, our draft for the Magical Kenya Open takes on a different feel; let’s take a look who has made our roster.
This Week’s Magical Kenya Open Fantasy Picks & Predictions
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