Magical Kenya Open Betting Preview for 2021

| March 17, 2021 7:55 am PDT

The first of back-to-back European Tour events in Nairobi gets underway on Thursday. Karen Country Club is set to host the proceedings, a par-71 tree-lined track that has hosted 11 previous Kenya Opens (1968, 2004-2008, 2013-2016, 2019).

The 12th edition at Karen CC boasts its best field yet.

Part of the Challenge Tour’s schedule through 2018, the Kenya Open was elevated to the European Tour in 2019 but was played during the same week as THE PLAYERS. The tournament was canceled in 2020 but has returned in 2021 with 2,000 Race to Dubai points up for grabs.

With that, let’s dive into some Magical Kenya Open predictions.

Kurt Kitayama – Top-5 Finish

Installed as the favorite or co-favorite at all of the top golf bookmakers, there’s not a ton of upside to be gained by nabbing Kurt Kitayama to finish in the top 10 or top 20. There’s some money to be made in the top-5 market, though, and a glance at his recent game log tells us a top-5 finish is on the horizon.

Kurt Kitayama By the Numbers in 2021
Date Tournament Finish
1/24/21 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship T35
1/31/21 Omega Dubai Desert Classic T20
2/7/21 Saudi International T12
3/14/21 Qatar Masters T9

Progressively better in each start, and three of these events had extremely stellar fields where Kitayama was nothing more than an afterthought. Now positioned as the top dog and riding tons of positive vibes, all signs are pointing toward the two-time European Tour winner getting into contention over the weekend.

Jamie Donaldson – Top-10 Finish

Moving along with my Magical Kenya Open picks, Jamie Donaldson’s game is tailor-made to prosper at this week’s layout. He’s not long and isn’t the most dependable putter around, but one thing is certain.

We can count on this man wearing out the center of the clubface.

  • 4th in Driving Accuracy
  • 7th in GIR

Hitting fairways is crucial to being able to attack the pin locations; few men are more reliable in this regard than the 45-year-old Welshman. After logging top-10 finishes in September, October, November, and December, Donaldson is back on track following a T5 at the Qatar Masters.

Johannes Veerman – Top-20 Finish

After generating the 7th-best stroke average on the European Tour in 2020, Johannes Veerman picked up right where he left off with a T14 at the Qatar Masters (his first start in 2021).

A shorter golf course lined by large vegetation isn’t typically where I would target Johannes in a wager, but a top-20 at Karen CC in 2019 helps put my mind at ease. 25th in GIR last season confirms that his iron play is strong, and he’ll be chomping at the bit to play his second tournament in a row. Seeing that Veerman’s flat stick behaved nicely in Doha, I like his chances at landing a top-20.

2021 Magical Kenya Open Pick to Win

36-year-old journeymen who have never won before aren’t usually the guys I target when making European Tour picks. However, most of the players in that category arrive at events searching for a rhythm.

In the case of Niklas Lemke, the Swedish golfer saunters into Nairobi with all sorts of momentum. The ASU product has finished 11th or better in four consecutive appearances.

Kurt Kitayama By the Numbers in 2021
Date Event Result
3/14/21 Qatar Masters T9
12/5/20 Golf in Dubai Championship T8
11/22/20 Joburg Open T11
11/8/20 Cyprus Showdown T9

Not only are his results trending in the right direction, so is Lemke’s putter.

After needing 31 putts in the opening round last week at Education City GC, Niklas took 29 putts in round 2, 28 putts in round 3, and 25 putts in round 4. Perhaps his long-awaited first victory on the European Tour comes this week in Kenya.

  • Niklas Lemke

2021 Magical Kenya Open Sleepers

I revealed my Magical Kenya Open predictions; now I’ll toss out a couple of sleepers to keep tabs on.

Lurking at +6600, Alexander Levy is a five-time winner on the European Tour with a trio of top-10s on his resume since November. Levy placed 50th last week at the Qatar Masters but made only nine birdies across 72 holes. Should the Frenchman get the putter clicking this week, a sixth trip to winner’s circle could be in the cards.

Even further down the Magical Kenya Open odds sheet at +9000 is another man who finished T50 in Doha. Only Julian Suri accomplished that despite carding an 84 on Saturday. Talk about responding in the right way, Suri bounced back on Sunday with a blemish-free 67.

Golf Betting This Week

Can you get on board any of these predictions for the Magical Kenya Open?

Simply betting on a golfer to win is a tough proposition; I like to mix things up and attack the other markets. Jamie Donaldson cracking the top 10 is probably my favorite bet of the week.

Of course, that doesn’t include all of my Honda Classic picks. There’s plenty of money to be made some 8,000 miles away in Palm Beach Gardens.

Michael Wynn
Michael Wynn

As a former Division I collegiate golfer, Michael Wynn loves writing about golf. He's also an expert in most of America's most popular sports, writing extensively for on football, basketball, and baseball.

Michael's a Las Vegas native and has been with the company since 2017.

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