Betting Tips for 3rd to 6th March 2022
It’s a strange week for defending champions in golf. While Bryson DeChambeau is forced to miss out on his defence of the Arnold Palmer Invitational on the PGA Tour, Justin Harding makes his defence of the Magical Kenya Open at a different golf course to that at which he won.
Harding’s brilliance at Karen Country Club and some very good results over the start of the new DP World Tour season have the South African sitting at the top of the outright betting for the 2022 Magical Kenya Open alongside fellow countryman Dean Burmester.
The hope among Harding and all those who performed well at Karen Country Club is that they’ll be asked similar questions at Muthaiga Golf Club. They won’t be disappointed. Both courses are tight with trees framing the fairways and serious demands on players' approach play and short games. They’re both at altitude and both have an old school feel.
Things are just turned up that little bit more at Muthaiga. Driving accuracy is more important, greens are more difficult to hit and getting up and down to save par is that bit more taxing. That could be the undoing for Harding who hasn’t always been convincing with his approach play. Indeed, there are question marks about the suitability of several of the most well-fancied players competing this week. That makes things a bit trickier for punters but does suggest that there is some good value to be found in the markets.
The first player who stands out in the betting is Matthieu Pavon at odds of 33/1. The Frenchman kicked off his DP World Tour season with two good weeks in Ras al Khaimah. The first of those double headers went best for him as he placed in a tie for third place thanks in no small part to his approach play and short game. He looked like a different player to the one who struggled for large spells of last season and with his game very much on an upward curve he can utilise his strengths to full effect at Muthaiga.
Second, consider Richie Ramsay at a best price of 45/1. The Scotsman doesn’t often have the luxury of competing at golf courses that reward his accuracy off the tee but he’s certainly found an opportunity at Muthaiga. A previous winner in South Africa, Ramsay knows all about the sort of turf, conditions and the impact of altitude that he’ll find in Nairobi so expect him to battle his way to a strong finish.
If you’re happy taking on a bit of a risk then Shubhankar Sharma could be one to add to your staking plan for the Magical Kenya Open. It’s not that he is overly big in the betting at 45/1, nor that he lacks the calibre to get the better of a field of this quality. It’s just that Sharma’s short game has been nowhere near up to the level required lately. He’ll have to work very hard to find a way around his chipping deficiencies but he is a very good approach player so providing he can set himself up nicely with the right yardages and angels into greens he can quickly work his way into contention.
|2022||Muthaiga Golf Club||Ashun Wu|
2022: Ashun Wu
If you only looked at the leaderboard for the 2022 Magical Kenya Open after the tournament ended you might well have thought that Ashun Wu cruised to victory. The 36 year old won finished four shots better than the three players tied for second place – Thriston Lawrence, Hurly Long and Aaron Cockerill – at Muthaiga Golf Club but his position was nowhere near as strong heading into the final round.
Scotland’s Ewen Ferguson held a commanding lead at the 54 hole stage. Rounds of 66, 67 and 66 gave Ferguson his own four-shot lead at the start of play on Sunday. The challenge of seeing that position out for a maiden win on the DP World Tour proved too much for him though. Ferguson’s closing round of 76 opened the door for his opponents and it was Wu who stepped through.
Wu is experienced enough to not take early setbacks too hard. So when he went through the first three holes at +1 for his final round he did not panic. His next seven holes yielded five birdies to put him in command and he then played par golf from holes 11 to 16 before finishing with a birdie-birdie flourish.