Magical Kenya Open Leaderboard, Preview, TV Times

The European Tour is in Nairobi this week for the Magical Kenya Open

Thomas Bjorn plays in Kenya
Thomas Bjorn plays in Kenya
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The European Tour travels to Kenya this week for the Magical Kenya Open presented by Absa, at the Karen Country Club in Nairobi.

Magical Kenya Open Leaderboard, Preview, TV Times

With many of the European Tour’s leading players in Florida this week for The Players Championship, the circuit's lesser lights have a chance to shine as they take on the Magical Kenya Open in Nairobi.


Although this is the event’s first time on the European Tour, the Kenya Open is an historic tournament. It was first contested back in 1967 and was won by Guy Wolstenholme. It was a fixture on the European Challenge Tour from 1991 until last season. Past winners of the event include: Seve Ballesteros, Brian Barnes, Ken Brown, Ian Woosnam and Trevor Immelman.

This week, 15-time European Tour winner and 2018 Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjørn headlines the field, alongside rising stars Shubhankar Sharma and Renato Paratore. A strong home representation will also be at Karen CC plus a number of other African players who will be looking to score a victory. A former winner of this event, South Africa’s Haydn Porteous will be among the favourites.

Internet Sensation Hosung Choi

CHEONAN, SOUTH KOREA - JUNE 22: Choi Ho-sung of Korea pictured during round two of the Kolon Korea Open Golf Championship at Woo Jeong Hills Country Club on June 22, 2018 in Cheonan, South Korea. (Photo by Arep Kulal/Asian Tour/Asian Tour via Getty Images)

Internet sensation Ho-sung Choi will tee it up at the Magical Kenya Open as he brings his unorthodox swing to a European Tour event this week.

The course at the Karen Country Club in Nairobi dates from 1937, a Remy Martin creation, but the layout was redesigned by David Jones in 2015 when all the greens were changed from Bermuda grass to Bentgrass.

The weather forecast is for hot and dry weather throughout tournament week.

Venue: Karen CC, Nairobi, Kenya Date: Mar 14-17 Course stats: par 71, 6,922 yards Purse: €1,100,000 Defending champion: Inaugural event on European Tour – Lorenzo Gagli won Barclays Kenya Open on 2018 Challenge Tour.

How to watch The Magical Kenya Open

TV Coverage: Thursday 14 – Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event from 8am Friday 15 – Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event from 8am Saturday 16 – Sky Sports Golf from 9.30am and Sky Sports Main Event from 10.30am Sunday 17 – Sky Sports Golf from 9.30am and Sky Sports Main Event from 10am

Not a Sky Sports customer and want to watch The Magical Kenya Open?

BUY NOW: Now TV Sky Sports Pass – £8.99 for a day, £14.99 for a week or £33.99 for a month

Players to watch:

Justin Harding wins Qatar Masters

Justin Harding wins Qatar Masters

Justin Harding – Fresh off the back of victory in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, the South African will look to keep that run going in Nairobi. Currently 5th on the Race to Dubai standings, he’ll be heavily tipped to score back-to-back wins.

George Coetzee – Another South African who will head into this event with confidence and clear form. He was tied second in Qatar last week.

Adri Arnaus – The young Spaniard has been consistent so far this year and has shown glimpses of good form – an opening 67 in Qatar last week for example. He looks to have the potential to make a step up on the circuit and this event could give him the opportunity.

Key Hole: 18th, a par-4 of 445 yards, the finishing hole is a long and narrow one with a green that sits across the fairway, presenting a difficult target to hit from distance. Drives here should favour the left-hand side of the fairway and approach shots should avoid the rough short, left, right and beyond the green – the bunkers are preferable. The green slopes to the front for most of the part, but a tiny portion at the top end slopes away into the rough. This will be a tough finishing hole.

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?