After the India Open was cancelled for the third year running due to the ongoing effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Tour is back with the Kenya Open. We could be in for a birdie fest at Muthaiga Golf Club, as the course measures nearly 7,200 yards, but due to the altitude, the ball will travel a lot further at an altitude where the air is thinner. Previously, the Kenyan Open was a Challenger Tour event, and it has a rich history on the European Tour.
Scottish golfing fans will be hoping to see Scott Jamieson and Richie Ramsay have a good week, and as always, picking a winner will be tough.
Anyway, we have selected three intriguing tips for you to pore over before the first round gets underway on Thursday.
All eyes will be on South African Justin Harding, who is the defending champion. I2 months ago, Harding posted a record total of 21-under-par, and aside from his victory last year, he has finished runner-up on two occasions.
This season, Harding has been very consistent, and apart from finishing in T4 at the Dubai Desert Classic, he came home in T9 at the Khaimah Classic.
Paddy Power is offering odds of 16/1 for Harding to be in the winner’s circle come Sunday evening, and judging by his recent performances, we can have little complaints about the price. He is certainly worth a cheeky punt!
Adrian Meronk to make an early move
Currently, 13th in the European Tour, Adrian Meronk has enjoyed a rapid ascent over the past 18 months. We have been impressed with what we have seen of him this year. He backed that up at the Dubai Desert Classic by coming home in T4, and at the Ras Al Khaimah Classic a few weeks ago, he was T6, so he will be one to pay attention to.
As mentioned, Muthaiga will throw up plenty of birdie opportunities, and Meronk will be keen to seize any chances that come his way. The 1st round leader is always a fascinating market to tuck into, and bet365 has priced the Polish star as joint-favourite at 28/1 to finish the opening round as the leader. He will certainly face stiff competition, but he’s usually been in contention in the latter stages of tournaments, so he shouldn’t be overlooked.
Joost Luiten heading home before the weekend
With the experience Joost Luiten boasts as a six-time winner on the European Tour, it seems rather strange that the Dutchman has fallen away over the past few months. Currently ranked 131 in the world, Luiten has been very quiet.
He has missed the cut twice this season on the Tour, and he could only manage a T33 at the Ras Al Khaimah Classic, so the omens don’t look good. If you think he will pack his bags early, then he is 13/8 to miss the cut with bet365, which could be worth following up.