Out of the Rough: Magical Kenya Open (2023)
I guess I just can’t get enough golf as of late or maybe it’s just the fact that I want to gamble some more.
Either way, as the PGA Tour takes on THE PLAYERS at TPC Sawgrass the DP World Tour takes on the Magical Kenya Open.
After a week off, the DP World Tour will take to the Muthaiga Golf Club in Nairobi, Kenya. The event was formerly part of the Challenge Tour’s rotation until 2019 when it joined the DP World Tour.
Muthaiga Golf Club is a parkland style course that offers a different challenge than golfers on the DP World Tour are used to.
It plays at around 7,228 yards and is a par 71.
The front-nine, in comparison to the back-nine, plays much longer and is designed to test golfers right out of the gate.
There are four par fives on the course, so the opportunity to score low here is there. Since its move to the DP World Tour, the winning scores have been -16, -12 and -16.
Like the Karen Country Club, the previous host of the event, altitude will be a big factor this week and must be taken into consideration.
The course is tree lined and requires an accurate shot off the tee. The course too has water in play on multiple holes and features a large amount of bunkers.
The field this week will see multiple returning champions. Last year’s winner Ashun Wu is back to defend his title after winning by four strokes in 2022.
Other returning champions of the event include Justin Harding (2021) and Guido Migliozzi (2019.) Of course, the event was not played in 2020 due to COVID-19.
This event is a good measure for future success in not only the DP World Tour but the PGA Tour as well. Just two years ago, 2023 Arnold Palmer Invitational winner Kurt Kitayama was the runner-up to Harding.
The golfers in attendance will compete for a $2,000,000 purse this week.
As for the weather this week, we’ll see temperatures range from the mid-to-low 80’s across the four day event. Precipitation could be a factor into the weekend as current weather forecasts are calling for a 30-percent chance on Saturday and 40-percent chance on Sunday.
Important statistics to consider this week include:
Strokes Gained: Approach (SG: APP)
Strokes Gained: Tee to Green (SG: TTG)
Strokes Gained: Putting (SG: PUTT)
Greens in Regulation Percentage (GIR%)
Antoine Rozner (+1600)
Per DraftKings Sportsbook, Rozner is the favorite. He too is my favorite per my model this week. He’s currently fifth on the DP World Tour in GIR%, 17th in SG: TTG, 20th in scrambling, 24th in SG: APP, 27th in driving accuracy and 56th in SG: PUTT. The last time we saw Rozner was at the Thailand Classic in mid-February where he placed T5th. He also placed T6th a week prior at the Singapore Classic. He does have a win in his last five outings, winning the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open back in December. He did play this event a year ago and placed T34th.
Adrian Otaegui (+2200)
Otaegui is currently tied for the second lowest odds this week with Robert MacIntyre and Adri Arnaus. He’s currently fifth on the DP World Tour in SG: APP, seventh in driving accuracy, ninth in both scrambling and SG: TTG and 47th in GIR%. His score this week in our model takes a hit due to his below average placement in SG: PUTT where he ranks 119th. He hasn’t missed a cut in his last five events. He hasn’t had a ton of success in those events, placing as high as T28th at both the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and Hero Dubai Desert Classic back in January. He played this event a year ago as well where he placed T34th just as Rozner did.
Julien Brun (+3000)
Julien Brun is joined by last year’s champion Wu in this third lowest odd tier. The Frenchman is currently eighth on Tour in scrambling, 14th in SG: APP, 18th in GIR%, 23rd in SG: PUTT, 33rd in SG: TTG and 99th in driving accuracy. His driving accuracy leaves a bit to be desired but if he can find a few more fairways than normal, I like his chances. He’s been playing well as of late as well. The last time we saw Brun was at the Singapore Classic where he went T12th. He also finished fifth at the Hero Dubai Desert Classic and third at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open. He played this event a year ago where he placed T13th.
Connor Syme (+4500)
The Scot is currently 25th on the DP World Tour in GIR%, 34th in SG: APP, 35th in scrambling, 47th in driving accuracy, 60th in SG: TTG and 91st in SG: PUTT. The greens are definitely a place of weakness in his game and will need a few putts to fall in his favor this week. He hasn’t missed a cut in his last five events however, placing as high as T28th at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in January.
Thomas Aiken (+20000)
This is my longshot pick of the week, and when I mean longshot, I mean it. Despite sitting at +20000 he still ranks high in my model. He’s currently second on Tour in SG: APP, fifth in driving accuracy, 14th in SG: TTG and 68th in GIR%. He ranks high in some of the more important statistics we’re taking into consideration this week. The rest of his game, not so much. He’s 121st in scrambling and 154th in SG: PUTT. He’s made five-of-six cuts this season but hasn’t placed too high in any of the events. He didn’t play this event last year.